Professional Development

Professional Development Overview

The purpose of Professional Development is to strengthen teachers’ and administrators’ capacity of content and pedagogy to raise student achievement.  Through study, reflection, collaboration, and the employment of effective research-based practices, educators will gain insight into models of effective practice and will affect change in the delivery of instruction to meet the varied needs of all learners.  The results of effective practices will be evidenced in aligned and implemented content as articulated in the Massachusetts’ and national framework expectations, new models of formative, summative, and common assessments, increased data from which to assess students’ learning, and shared collegial practice to support the growth of 21st century skills and the development of professional learning communities.  The district’s goal and expectation is to support teachers’ development of individual professional development plans to further the field of professional knowledge and engage in the sharing and creation of best practices to advance student learning.

The Process of Professional Development

Research shows that professional development should be designed around research-documented practices that enable educators to develop skills necessary to implement what they are learning (Joyce & Showers, 2002).  In support of the Massachusetts Department of Education’s goals for “District Standards” (2011) and the “Essential Conditions for School Effectiveness” (2011), Georgetown Public School’s strategic District Professional Development Plan supports a climate conducive to adult learning through effective communication, ongoing professional improvement and joint responsibility for student learning. The district maintains a strong commitment to creating and sustaining a professional development program that supports educators at all stages in their careers. Professional development programs and services are based on district priorities, information about staff needs, student achievement data, and assessments of instructional practices and programs at each school. The district supports teacher leadership and growth by creating opportunities for exemplary teachers to have responsibility for instructional leadership and mentoring.  Professional development includes a) both job-embedded and individually pursued learning, including content-based learning, that enhances a teacher’s knowledge and skills and b) structures for collaboration that enable teachers to have regular, frequent department and/or grade-level common planning and meeting time that is used to improve implementation of the curriculum and instructional practice. (DESE, p.2).

By teaching, you will learn

By learning, you will teach

                    ~Latin proverb