Alternate PL

A Call to Action

The Why –Many teachers have negative mindset about professional development for a variety of reasons. Some common factors include the perception that the training is not directly relevant to their specific teaching needs, a lack of choice or autonomy in selecting development opportunities, low-quality or uninspiring content, inconvenient scheduling, and a sense of being burdened by additional work, all of which can lead to feelings of frustration and disengagement. Additionally, when professional development is mandated, lacks follow-up, or is disconnected from the realities of the classroom, teachers may be less inclined to embrace it. Efforts to improve the quality, relevance, and flexibility of professional development, as well as recognizing and respecting the expertise and time constraints of teachers, can help mitigate these negative mindsets and make professional development a more positive and effective experience for everyone. In order to meet the needs of educators,  these 5 principles of professional learning should be implemented (Gulamhussein, 2013): 

  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
  2. There must be support for a teacher during the implementation stage that addresses the specific challenges of changing classroom practice.
  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 new practice. 
  4. Modeling has been found to be highly effective in helping teachers understand a new practice
  5. The content presented to teachers shouldn’t be generic, but instead specific to the discipline (for middle school and high school teachers) or grade-level (for elementary school teachers). 


The What

The How

I followed a few different resources for this presentation. The one that I got the most from, and that resonated with me was a Ted Talk, by Nancy Duartes.  I will be asking my participants to reflect on “what is” and “what could be”  with their table groups.  When designing my presentation, I used google slides.  I have used Canva before for other media presentations, but I didn’t feel my own expertise was enough to create a full professional development, using Canva.  So I stuck with what I know and what I am comfortable with at this point. Unfortunately, after 3 hours, I could not figure out how to upload the actual google slide presentation; and not just the link.  So I put posted each individual slide for “The What"


Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the Teachers:  Effective professional development in an area of high stakes accountability. Alexandria, VA: National School Boards Association.  Center for Public Education.

Hill, H.C. (2015) review of the mirage:  Confronting the hard truth about our quest for teacher development. Boulder, CO: National  Education Policy Center.  

Harapnuik, D. (2019, May). How to Create Your ePortfolio. It’s About the Learning. 

TEDxEast (2010, December 10). Nancy Duarte uncovers common structure of greatest communicators. 

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