The stewardship of the teaching profession should reside with teachers, yet so much of professional development is done "to" teachers rather than "with" them.
Of course we need strong back-bone organizations that can help teachers see themselves as facilitators of their own life-long learning. Districts, non-profits and professional organizations, for example, can help teachers emerge as the leaders we need. We also need teacher-led practice with, and reflection on, effective professional development that meets the needs of school communities.
I propose that teachers be invited to submit plans for professional development workshops that address systemic challenges and opportunities. The opportunities can be identified by either districts, parents, students or teachers. Most importantly, teachers within schools should be able to adapt PD workshops to match local and systemic needs. For example, a few general topics could be:
* From Language Literacy to Fluency, and Back!
* Strategies for Integrated STEM
* What is "Data-informed" Instruction?
* Fostering the Ethic of Care -- For Students and Ourselves
* Local Modifications of Teacher Evaluation Models
We are ALL life-long learners, and teacher-led professional development is a means to exercise and enrich that potential.