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The Importance of Administrator Presence at Teacher PD Sessions

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Teaching and Learning
August 11, 2015

As I continue to do more professional development around the state, two key thoughts are always confirmed:

1) Many of you have hired some of the best teachers for your students. Their passion and dedicationare obvious, and research will confirm they will be change agents for Oklahoma education.

2) Those schools where true change takes place and where teachers feel supported are the oneswhere the administrators/leaders are visible at the professional development sessions. Further, thePD is well-organized with the teacher’s needs being the focus.

Is this a busy time for administrators? Absolutely! But those administrators who sit in on the PD sessions are giving that session credibility, and they will be able to reinforce what the teachers have just learned–those concepts that can turn a culture to a more successful one. Those administrators value and support their teachers through their attendance and the collaboration/dialogue that always occurs. Try not to be an absent administrator; it’s one thing to organize but another to attend.

If the tables were turned, we would be appalled if teachers set their students up for a training and then were nowhere to be found. So why would administrators not be in with their staff, listening and hearing the concepts, vocabulary and models of better practices being presented?

Additionally, professional development should be strategic and intentional for it to be effective. A recent study found that on average, schools they interviewed spent around $18K per teacher, and most of those teachers felt the training was largely a waste.

My suggestion is that if you plan a PD for your staff, include that session on your calendar as well–you might even gain a few insights yourself.

Happy school openings to all,

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