Creating a culture of continuous learning is critical to building educators’ abilities, confidence, and in creating consistency of quality teaching practices. But, this is no easy feat. Time constraints, access to relevant and quality professional development, and lack of learning communities are known barriers and have been found to impact teacher job satisfaction.
The good news is, that despite these challenges, there are opportunities to strengthen staff empowerment and to continue to build educators’ confidence to increase consistency of best practices.
Meet Them Where They Are
To empower staff at all levels, it’s critical to identify where each staff member is in their professional learning. Once identified, use that information to better tailor professional development and learning opportunities. This individualized approach for professional learning is no different than individualizing instruction for children. Meeting them where they are gives them the best opportunity for success, for learning, and for growth. Professional learning platforms like myTeachstone and online subscriptions like CLASS® Video Library, not only encourage individualized opportunities but offer flexibility and for professional learning to happen anywhere, anytime.
Offer Further Career Development Opportunities
Build pathways that allow staff members to further advance their careers. From enrolling them into courses to complete the hours required to earn or renew their CDA credential, to helping find relevant offerings that offer continuing education credits, leaders, mentors, and coaches can help promote teachers’ career development. And, this strategy is even more critical when professional learning is tied to pay scales. As there is evidence to support teachers who have higher pay are more likely to stay in their position than those with lower pay.
Create Opportunities to Build Community
Promote teacher efficacy through establishing practices that allow for peer-to-peer collaboration, sharing, and learning. The concept of shared and collective efficacy has been proven to directly impact student achievement. Beyond community within your own program, promote opportunities for teachers to stretch their community. The CLASS® Learning Community is one such avenue, connecting educators across the globe.
Share Relevant Resources Across Various Modalities
Adults, like children, often have preferred styles of learning. When sharing relevant resources that are designed to support and empower teachers, source various modalities. Consider podcasts for auditory learners, videos and webinars, for visual learners, and relevant blog posts for written learners. Sharing a mix of resources across modalities offers the best opportunity for success.
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The frameworks that power great interactions with children can be applied to relationships with our coworkers. In our webinar Staying In-Sync: Creating Positive Interactions Between Teachers, panelists Kate Cline, Professional Services Manager at Teachstone, and Deidre Harris, Educational Consultant at Team Agreements, led a lively discussion about how to foster healthy relationships among your staff. They identified a few key areas that make up the foundation of this work. Let’s get into it!
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