I have been an instructor now for the three years on my campus, where I remember one convocation we had someone come to show the entire faculty awesome things to do in our classroom/lecture. I was so motivated. I loved it. It showed us how to get our students more willing to work in groups and create great projects. As well as, wonderful ice breakers to begin with them. My whole department loved the ideas and I wanted to use them. Most of us took notes. A few days later the students returned and we had already forgotten all the information that we learned that day. We would go back and ask each other how to incorporate this and that. We had our notes but, little memory on how to apply it to health careers. I believe if we had more time to learn the new skill it would help us apply these wonderful ideas that could help our students. I believe they fail because we as instructors/teachers have little time to incorporate PLs into our work day.
After reading the 5 Principles of Effective Professional Development by
Gulamhussein, I believe this would help us as educators become more effective in our learning and be able keep up to date with new and up coming ways to teach.
#1 The duration of professional development must be significant and ongoing to allow time for teachers to learn a new strategy and grapple with the implementation problem.
Most studies show that you need to allow 50 to 80 hours for professional development to be properly executed. A teacher learns the same way a student does. As we are students are self. Therefore, they would need time to review, comprehend, and prepare for their classes so their students could learn the information. Learning ten different new ways to collaborate and ideas to engage your students in a four hour day will not always leave your teacher/instructor with something to go back to their classroom with.
#2 There must be support for a teacher during the implementation stage that addresses the specific challenges of changing classroom practice.
If professional development alone only provides are educators with the idea alone and not coaching it will tend to be a forgotten training. Therefore, we should have someone coaching our teachers/instructors on how to implement the learning into their classroom projects. If they need guidance, there should be someone to help them along.
#3 Teachers’ initial exposure to a concept should not be passive, but rather should engage teachers through varied approaches so they can participate actively in making sense of a practice.
When developing a professional learning activity it should be with meaning and purpose as we do for our students. It should make sense and have support that is researchable with the proper facts. Educators want to know statistically how effective it could be at engaging and teaching students.
#4 Modeling has been found to be highly effective in helping teachers understand a new product.
Professional Development could also offer a learning as we do section. Therefore, teachers/instructors could observe another doing the new skills or lesson plan and then reapplying it to that class. Then they could take it back to their classroom and perform the skill.
#5 The content presented to teachers shouldn’t be generic, but instead specific to the discipline or grade-level.
When attending the one professional development section offered to our faculty I was very motivated. But, as I stated before but I noticed when I did try to apply what I remembered it was hard to do so. The reason was because the information was so generic. For instance, I teach Respiratory Care and the instructor next to me taught English. Although, there are a few things we could take back and use such as, ice breakers. But, the really good in-depth ideas were hard. This is where I think professional development lacks. I believe that health careers alone should have their own professional development. My neighbor might teach sonography, radiography, nursing, pharmacy tech, emt, or surgical tech but, we are educating our students for the same purpose and we have different teaching standards.
I love using technology. We are constantly doing something that involves it and the more the better. I love embracing new things and helping my students learn. I believe I am somewhere between the middle to the high tech Kristen Daniels Empowering the Teacher Technophobe spoke on.
Ms. Daniels spoke about three levels of teachers that use technology low, average, and high. Mostly, she stated that if they had a workshop to help them with the ideas on how to use the technology it would help them develop better skills. Other than assuming they have no idea on how to use them at all.
Low technology performers are usually afraid of technology. If they had someone coaching them and guiding them they would be able to do simple things other than just emailing. Average is someone who uses technology most of the time and knows how to do most things on their own. Still has questions on how to incorporate things into other programs and make things easier. If they had someone their for questions they would be able to perform more efficiently. High technology is someone who can do about everything on their own but, lacks the resources to do it. If there was someone in place to help them find the resources to perform the task they would like they would be working more efficiently for their students. As I previously stated I feel like I am in between the average to high performer. I try to find everything I can to make things easier and more engaging for my students as well as myself. But, as we know funding can prevent the resources to do more of the higher technology that I would like to do.
I have one other colleague that graduated from DLL program and she somewhat uses tech a little but the others in my building hardly do. Other than email, blackboard, and some do not even use you tube for instructional pieces. They are learning from me and love all of my ideas and are trying to incorporate into their curriculum. I think as a community college we struggle with PLs, they will send us an email to do them and we answer the questions and move on. I do most of my PLs in my Respiratory Care due to the amount of CEs I have to have to keep my license. I would love to have our campus take the time when we are not lecturing to offer us PLs or extra help to keep us motivated and help us instructor our students the best way we possibly can. Also, if we had the ability to have an instructional coach to I believe it would help college campuses. I do not believe that it has came to that level yet. Most of the professors are still stuck on reading straight from the book. Many have not even began using powerpoint as a point of reference.
Daniels, Kristen. (2013). Empowering the teacher technophobe. Retrieved from
Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the teachers effective professional development in an era of
high stakes accountability. center for public education. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/system/files/2013- 176_ProfessionalDevelopment.pdf