We are starting a new year and getting our class schedules and new teachers ready. Soon, students will be entering the classroom - eager to learn to read, build skills, gain employment, and even go to college. I invite you to read the article about how new teachers need a master's support. The author, Tim Goral, says" new teachers are too often left to fend for themselves, without the benefit of an artisan-apprentice relationship."
I would also like to share a resources from the LINCS collection about What Makes Teaching Effective? This report identifies strategies for planned professional learning. "Beginning and experienced teachers alike can benefit from professional learning.44 To target the most important areas for improvement, instructors should consider three aspects of any professional development opportunity: relevance to their own teaching, relevance to their own proficiency, and program priority level."
Let's think about these resources. What information do new teachers need to have? How many of you have mentorship programs? And what PD do you plan at the beginning of the year?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
As we start our new fiscal year and discuss what type of PD teacher's need in the support of mentoring and development, remember the LINCS Online PD courses can be a great fit. If you haven't checked out these courses, this would be a great time! You can also invite your colleagues. Invite them to join you in the course you want to take, or share the link with the list of courses.
As the TxCHSE Coordinator, it is up to me to supervise the instructors. When I get new instructors, I give them a flash drive with all of the necessary manuals, paperwork, calendars, scope and sequence, lesson plan templates, etc. that they will need. I have slowly begun moving everything to Google Docs, but I still have some instructors who need time to adjust to this.
We do not currently have a mentorship program, but it is an idea that we have toyed with.
We plan all PD during the summer so that our instructors have time to attend. The way we plan our PD is we look at our statistics and see where each instructor has strengths and weaknesses. We then ask the instructors to complete an anonymous online survey where they are allowed to give input and feedback regarding PD. This enables us to make it meaningful to the instructor.
I hope my input helps.
My guess is that TxCHSE means that you are a Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency Coordinator and that you supervise adult secondary education/HSE teachers. Right?
What a great idea to give new instructors all the information they need in one place, on a flash drive. I wonder, however, if you have considered putting this information in (a more easily updated) app that they could access from a computer, tablet or smartphone. A Tennessee adult basic skills program, Literacy Mid-South, does that. You can find their app (free) in the Apple App Store and probably at Google Play (for Androids) if you want to see what I mean. It's memorably called "literacy-mid-south" It was designed for their volunteer tutors to help them keep track of their tutoring hours and other admin tasks, and also to provide them with easy access to professional development opportunities and resources on their smartphones. The software in which the app was developed is free or inexpensive, and if you have someone on staff (or someplace) with some app design experience you might give a try yourself to designing an app for new teachers you supervise
I understand that the free integrated Google Classroom, that was heretofore available only to K-12 schools is now also available to adult education programs. Since you are moving people to Google Docs (an important part of that suite of tools) perhaps you would like to introduce teachers to more than one free Google tool, for example, to Google Slides, that some teachers now introduce to their students to create presentations that they might later want to give potential employers access to with just a link in an email; or to Google Forms, that teachers use to create adaptive assessments. (Maybe you already use Google Forms to create your online teacher survey?)
With Google Docs your teachers can also make exciting HyperDoc multimedia lesson plans designed for their students to use as learning activities. By the way, I learned about HyperDocs only recently from one of your Texas Colleagues, HyperDocs maven Ashly Winkle, who I understand will be doing a Texas "Tech and Tell" webinar on HyperDocs sometime soon for TRAIN PD @ TCALL (Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy & Learning | Texas A&M University.)
I believe Texas has a PD coaching model, including tech coaching. Are you part of that? If so, tell us about how it works.
Seems like you are on target in making PD "meaningful to the instructor"!
David J. Rosen, Moderator
Integrating Technology CoP
You have a great start for teachers. How is your summer PD delivered? Face-to-Face or online? I like the approach of starting in July so teachers are ready when the academic year begins. David and Ashly have shared some remarkable lesson plans on Google HyperDocs. This concept might be a wonderful way to present PD for teachers.
I definitely agree that teachers require some sort of mentorship upon beginning their careers. This is not only crucial for academic input, but especially for behavioral challenges, organizational advice and fully grasping the school culture. It is very daunting to begin a new job within an established school building where rules, the population served and curriculum my vary from a past experience, such as student teaching experience.