Professional Development

A teacher's education never ends. New research, state standards, and curriculum changes require teachers who are informed, energized, and responsive. Learn the characteristics of excellent reading teachers, as well as the knowledge and skills required to teach reading effectively.

Literacy Coaching in the Middle Grades

By: Michael C. McKenna and Sharon Walpole (2010)

From time constraints to a de-emphasis on literacy to a limited research base, coaches in middle schools face challenges that do not exist in the elementary grades.

Developing A Positive School Climate

By: Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement (2009)

What is meant by “school climate”, and how can you assess the climate at your school? Read on for helpful definitions, assessment ideas, tools, and resources.

Professional Learning Communities

By: Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement (2009)

Professional learning communities (PLC) establish a schoolwide culture that develops teacher leadership explicitly focused on building and sustaining school improvement efforts. Generally, PLCs are composed of teachers, although administrators and support staff routinely participate. Through participation in PLCs, teachers enhance their leadership capacity while they work as members of ongoing, high-performing, collaborative teams that focus on improving student learning.

Five Phases of Professional Development

By: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (2009)

Too often, teachers say that the professional development they receive provides limited application to their everyday world of teaching and learning. Here The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory shares a five-phase framework that can help create comprehensive, ongoing, and — most importantly — meaningful professional development.

Teacher-Student Interactions: The Key to Quality Classrooms

By: University of Virginia Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (2008)

The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) describes ten dimensions of teaching that are linked to student achievement and social development. Each dimension falls into one of three board categories: emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support.

What Does the Research Tell Us About Teacher Leadership?

By: The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement (2008)

This research brief from the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement examines the research on teacher leadership and what it says about drawing on the skills of experienced teachers to facilitate school improvement.

Professional Development to Improve Adolescent Literacy

By: National Council of Teachers of English (2007)

Beyond general best practices, what sorts of professional development will help teachers improve the literacy of their older students? This article by the National Council of Teachers of English advocates building professional communities among secondary school teachers, encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration, and consulting literacy coaches.

Professional Development Helps Out-Of-School-Time Staff Support Adolescent Literacy

By: National Summer Learning Association (2007)

Learn about several efforts underway to increase the training and professional development options available to out-of-school-time staff, including seasonal workers.

Professional Development: The Route to Reform

By: National Council of Teachers of English (2006)

A discussion of factors — sustained deep learning, connection to actual classroom instruction, and collaboration with peers — that can help educators teach literacy within their content area.

Principal as Instructional Leader: Designing a Coaching Program That Fits

By: Lucy Steiner and Julie Kowal (2005)

Research shows that effective school leaders focus on improving classroom instruction, not just managerial tasks. A natural way for school leaders to take on the role of instructional leader is to serve as a "chief" coach for teachers by designing and supporting strong classroom level instructional coaching. Here's how to selecting a coaching approach that meets the particular needs of a school and how to implement and sustain the effort.

Using Student Engagement to Improve Adolescent Literacy

By: Learning Point Associates (2005)

For struggling adolescent readers, creating student interest is as vital as teaching language skills.

So If Retention is So Harmful, What Should We Do? Teach!

By: Alice Thomas (2003)

Studies on grade retention reach the same conclusion: Failing a student, particularly in the critical ninth grade year, is the single largest predictor of whether he or she drops out. What must teachers know to identify students’ needs and apply appropriate instructional strategies to reduce dropouts?


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