Saturday, September 21, 2019

Figuring out what PD teachers need (and want)

Planning professional development for teachers can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you don't even know what PD they need! This post gives you two easy-to-implement ideas that will help you figure out what topics your teachers want and need to learn about. Get started right away - there's even a free download!
One of the biggest questions I get is: How do I plan great PD?

Well, that's a pretty big question. Because planning PD is a pretty involved process. 

Moving from A: "I haven't figured out where to start" to Z: "My teachers are using the strategies we have learned" requires a lot and it can be overwhelming!

So the next few posts from the Buzzing with Ms. B blog are all about PD! 

You're going to read about how to plan a PD calendar, some great activities to help teachers work with content, and tips that save my life every time.

But the very first thing? How do you even know where to start?

If your administrator is the hands-off type (which can be great and can be not so great), you may have been tasked with planning PD for your campus without much direction.
But figuring out where to start planning shouldn't be overwhelming. Here are two easy ways you can identify areas your campus needs to grow in so you can plan some quality PD for those topics!
Method #1
Start with a survey.  
Ask teachers where they feel like they are doing well and where they feel like they need support.
If you get enough people asking for the same kinds of support, you can turn that into a PD topic!
For example, if most of your teachers say they're struggling with guided reading, BAM! Start from the beginning with guided reading.
If most teachers say they don't know how to build number sense, and you see that that's an important missing piece, there you go! Structure trainings around the topic of number sense!

Planning professional development for teachers can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you don't even know what PD they need! This post gives you two easy-to-implement ideas that will help you figure out what topics your teachers want and need to learn about. Get started right away - there's even a free download!
Method #2
Do a schoolwide classroom sweep.  
Visit every classroom and record your observations.
Planning professional development for teachers can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you don't even know what PD they need! This post gives you two easy-to-implement ideas that will help you figure out what topics your teachers want and need to learn about. Get started right away - there's even a free download! If your coaching is limited to a specific content area, visit classrooms while teachers are teaching that subject. You can even observe a lot from looking at the classroom environment, materials, and the walls. Take notes.
When you get back to your office or space, lay out your notes and see what patterns you notice.
For example, if you find that all of the anchor charts in the classroom are actually posters (they're prepared in advance, not with students), then build in modeling how to create an anchor chart to your next PD.
If teachers have interactive notebooks with nothing in them, create some PD around how to use interactive notebooks effectively.


These two methods will give you TONS of information about where your teachers are and where they should go next. Then, all you have to do is... all the work of planning. But don't worry - that's what my next post is all about!

Want to learn more?
Check out check out my IG Highlights @buzzingwithmsb for more PD tips!

Want to get that handy classroom sweep document? Get it AND other professional development tools in the free download! 



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