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As I prepare to return to school after spending an amazing Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends, my first thought is how do I continue to support my faculty during the second half of the school year? The answer that comes to mind is to continue to support my faculty through enriching professional development. Believe it or not, every teacher in America will not receive any source of professional development this year. As hard as it is to believe, it is even more difficult for me to understand because teachers are passionate about learning. For many administrators, the main task in delivering useful and innovative professional development comes down to money and time. So the question for me is how do I deliver great professional development during the most hectic time of the year?
In my search for answers to the question of how to deliver great professional development opportunities for my faculty, I discovered a blog on Edutopia from Karali Pitzele. In her blog, Pitzele talks about her work with 125 Kindergarten-ninth grade teachers in Jakarta, and how she was able to (literally) create a framework so that these professionals could have an engaging professional development opportunity in less than 2 hours. Why is this significant? Karali’s work is significant because her model is one that can be emulated in schools across the country regardless to budget and calendar. Taking time during a faculty meeting or bringing faculty together for an early breakfast or late lunch could easily provide the time necessary to “build understanding and collaboration, foster deep discussion, and provide time for the team to debrief and reflect.” I believe effective professional development is essential to what we do in our classrooms every day. For any administrator looking for creative ways to develop support for your faculty start by reading Karali’s blog. tlb