Professional Development & Student Achievement

This logo is a trademark that I own and created in 2017. It stands for how I believe that love should be at the center of every interaction and effort in a learning community.

The acronym stands for:

  • L is for learning: All decisions should be made with student learning as the goal, and multiple strategies should be used to persevere through expected learning curves.
  • O is for order: Organization is a key factor in allowing for learning. Being able to access information is easier when it is organized!
  • V is for victory: Victories should be celebrated but are not indefinite. Acknowledge your success and move on to your next task!
  • E is for enthusiasm: Dynamic personalities are engaging to learners and truly make a difference. Show your learners that you are happy to see them and excited to teach every day!

I support school board policy and district practice that provides high-quality professional development for teachers and school staff. I believe that our teachers and staff deserve professional development that is not only engaging and relevant, but culturally proficient and educationally sound. Respect for teacher's experience, expertise and choice should be fundamental in the design and implementation of a PD program.

Student achievement is directly impacted by the energy that is put into professional development efforts, and instructional excellence is reinforced by innovative teaching strategies and the iterative cycle of evaluating instructional practice and programming.

I currently facilitate two Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) within the NYS Master Teacher Program, the Critical Friends PLT and Personal Genetics (based off of the college elective course that I develop and teach).

Depending on the career/life stage of an educator – there is NOT a one-size fits all approach to this, and giving educators the ability to personalize their PD in both content and scheduling is key to a successful PD program. SSCSD has made progress in this area as of late, but there is still work to do. Teachers want respect when it comes to PD.

While the leadership is shared when it comes to how decisions are made, I would like to have a discussion about the two-hour delays and their effectiveness. The district has made Election Day a PD Day (something I brought up when I was PTA President to the former leadership and the NYSPTA as it considers both PD effectiveness and school safety), but perhaps consolidating all of the two-hour delays into ONE day will help our learning community as a whole: the teachers and the families of our district.

The what, when, how and why of current teacher professional development should be considered. The current practice of several out-of class articulation days on top of two-hour delays is a burden on our families (especially at the elementary level – and especially if both parents work) and does not necessarily capture the deep PD needs of teachers. While the district has made recent changes to reduce out-of-class articulation days on teachers, 2-3 hours is a short amount of time for teachers to engage in deep learning, concentrate on a project, or have time set aside to develop curriculum and create materials with colleagues across buildings. Additionally, any time out of the classroom for articulation days is time away from students and erases valuable instructional time in the classroom. Maximizing instructional time and the ability for teachers to collaborate across buildings/disciplines/grade levels/classrooms, along with reducing the burden on families’ schedules, especially at the elementary level, should be considered as PD opportunities are explored.