It's likely that you became an education leader because you know that learning is a lifelong journey. You also realize that talented, energized, engaged educators are the most effective way to grow enrollment and culture.
But how do you invest your training budget to get the best results? How do you develop that continuous improvement mindset? Consider these Five PD Growth Standards to evaluate the effectiveness of your training.
Standard 1: Does it align with our mission and help us make progress toward our goals?
Investments in professional development should of course be mission-driven and purposeful. As the school leader, it’s your job to keep the mission top of mind for everyone and to make sure it's supported through the training of personnel.
PD that's clearly on mission and on purpose is more motivating. It's much easier to do this if you have a compelling mission, but your faculty need inspiration and to be reminded of the importance and impact of their own personal growth.
Standard 2`: Does the PD advance the key Intelligences of Highly Effective Educators?
From the founding of School Growth we have been especially curious about talent and culture. Why are some educators more effective? Is there a common pattern of characteristics among these top performers across all schools that should inform the personnel strategies of each school?
The answer is YES! The best educators are intelligent. Beyond being intellectually gifted, though, they demonstrate a high level of aptitude in twelve specific intelligences that distinguish their performance and productivity.
Your PLC, PD, and any other relevant learning acronym, will produce greater returns if the curriculum addresses these attributes and skills that build wisdom and maximize growth.
“Wisdom is not a product of schooling
but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
Standard 3`: Does it specifically contribute to our core values and desired culture?
You want more than just school improvement. Great schools change the trajectory of people's lives, and that's why we need aspirational leaders like you who understand how to build a cohesive faculty that clearly understands and reflects the core values.
Leadership capacity is foundational to achieving sustainable excellence, and that requires training that incorporates all aspects of talent: Strengths, instincts, abilities, personality, skills, etc. Excellence is achieved with the right skills, attitude, and behaviors.
Standard 4: Is the training sustained, relevant, and collaborative?
Effective PD should be available for all school employees--including you--and it should be Sustained, Relevant, and Collaborative.
Adults are most interested in learning options that have immediate relevance and impact to their professional and/or personal life. This makes it more memorable, more effective, and more impactful.
New patterns of practice and behavior are more likely to become permanent if developed through repetition and practice. Easy access to training with this underlying design will ensure that you get the best results.
Standard 5: Does it utilize best practices for instructional design and delivery?
Well-designed PD will help your faculty master new skills and understand how to apply new knowledge to their roles. Best practices of Andragogy--the theory and method of teaching adult learners--have found that professional educators learn better when instruction is provided in a systemic, multi-modal approach.
Ideally, your people are involved in the planning and evaluation of their PD, and the content material is more problem-centered than concept-oriented. You will achieve even better results if you offer less direct instruction in favor of maximum learning autonomy.