20 Questions That Schools Should Ask About Professional Development

What Questions Should Schools Ask About Professional Development?

by Drew Perkins, Director of TeachThought PD

Planning for Professional Development can be a tricky proposition.

As an ‘administrator’ you’re responsible for being an instructional leader for your staff and you’re trying to find something that they’ll find interesting, engaging, useful and more while trying to balance costs and hours and available days in your calendar. The focus on teaching and learning can become lost in the hustle and bustle of running a school every day.  So can the pursuit of great professional learning opportunities for teachers who are passionate about their craft and looking to you for leadership.

You want to avoid pointless professional development for sure and sometimes you can’t please all the people all the time but here are 20 questions to get you started and help focus your PD.

20 Questions That Schools Should Be Asking About Professional Development

  1. How well does this fit in with my school and/or district’s Mission and Vision?
  2. How well have I included all the appropriate community stakeholders in developing my plan?
  3. How much autonomy, mastery, and purpose do teachers have in their professional enrichment?
  4. How can I best leverage internal teacher leadership?
  5. What outside thought partners should I include?
  6. How might our PD partner help us build internal capacity?
  7. How will we reflect on our professional development work?
  8. How will the teacher deliverables help students learn better?
  9. What short-term goals must we grow towards right now?
  10. How is this helping us build towards long-term stretch goals?
  11. How will our PD empower teachers?
  12. How will our PD empower students?
  13. Will the PD ask teachers to create something they can use now and down the line?
  14. Will the PD help teachers collaborate and communicate more effectively?
  15. Will teachers be inspired to ask lots of questions in our PD?
  16. Will my PD facilitator ask lots of questions?
  17. How will our PD inspire profound thinking and metacognition?
  18. Will teachers have significant time to work and process?
  19. Will our facilitator have experience, expertise and personality?
  20. Will our PD be more concerned with completing hours or committed to growth?

This is by no means an exhaustive list, we can think of many others.  What would you add?

20 Questions That Schools Should Be Asking About Professional Development