Once you have chosen your strategies, you need to identify what teachers need to know and be able to do to implement the strategies. You need to address the following questions for each strategy:
- What are you asking staff to teach students? In order to do that, what do they need to know and be able to do?
- Which of the areas you identified do you think are the greatest need for staff that would result in the highest impact?
- How can you determine individual teacher's staff development needs in relation to what you are asking them to do?
- What are the best ways to deliver staff development in the areas you have chosen? Which of these areas need continuous training throughout the year?
- How will you communicate expectations for what teachers are expected to do with the staff development?
- How will you build in staff time to plan and implement?
- How will you share problems and successes of the implementation?
- How will you recognize successes?
In a recent issue of JSD (Journal of Staff Development), Rick DuFour identifies what an effective principal must do "to provide a school context that fosters job-embedded professional development." He believes that "Principals must do more than organize teacher teams and hope for the best. They must provide the focus, parameters, and support to help teams function effectively. He goes on the identify five tasks principals need to do:
You may want to read the entire article, entitled In the Right Context online.
- Provide time for collaboration in the school day and school year.
- Identify critical questions to guide the work of collaborative teams.
- Ask teams to create products as a result of their collaboration.
- Insist that teams identify and pursue specific student achievement goals.
- Provide teams with relevant data and information.