Research shows that professional development that is explicitly tailored to the needs of teachers will help them to develop and grow more as practitioners . It will also enable schools to better meet the unique needs of their students when the professional development plan is developed from the school based goals as opposed to a district mandated goal. I have implemented teacher meet up groups that address the school based professional development issue in manner that allows teachers to develop personal professional goals that are aligned with their school goals and are tailored to the needs of the students that they currently serve. Teachers are given a survey to determine what topics they would like to engage in during the professional development sessions . These might include : behavior management strategies , engagement strategies, IEP issues, or differentiation strategies. When the schedule for the sessions is developed , teachers would meet for two hours after school twice a month and receive focus support in these areas from experts (in system and out of system ) in these areas. Teachers would receive two PLUs in addition to a light meal for their participation in the sessions . The meetings were held in a variety of locations such as libraries and museums so that the resources in these facilities could be utilized if needed . Teachers developed a plan for their personal professional growth at the beginning of the year and worked on it throughout the year.
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