“Don’t call it professional development—call it professional learning.” Jill Abbott, senior vice president and managing director at SIIA, made this statement in a recent edWebinar.

Additional panelists Jeff Mao, CEO of Edmoxie; Bruce Umpstead, director of state programs at IMS Global Learning Consortium; and Ilya Zeldin, founder and CEO of 2gnoMe, recommended that educational leaders take a deep breath and recognize that there is a crisis happening in our districts.

Related content: How to deliver PL that really works

What makes professional learning actually work?

There are vast quantifies of people who could be the best teachers ever, yet they don’t want to be in the profession. It is not easy for teachers to thrive and to grow when teacher professional learning is irrelevant, generic, and unsustainable.

A familiar comment from teachers regarding district or school-wide professional learning is, “Well, we’re just going to ride this one out because it is going to change in two years or when we get a new administrator.” The panelists suggest that if “we can get the professional learning piece done collaboratively with teachers, not at teachers, maybe we can retain and recruit highly qualified engaging and innovative educators.”

About the Author:

Eileen Belastock, CETL is the Director of Academic Technology for Mount Greylock RSD in Williamstown, MA, and also works with edWeb.net to write articles on their professional learning edWebinars. You can follow Eileen on Twitter @EileenBelastock.


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