Many districts are planning how they will implement professional development this summer and fall, while their staff may still be remote. To best support administrators during this unprecedented time, Vector Solutions, the developers of TeachPoint, surveyed 4,000 K-12 leaders and PD Coordinators across the country on May 19, 2020 to better understand their planning efforts.
To show our appreciation for those who participated in our survey, we donated $500 to Feed the Children, a non-profit that helps feed hungry children, which is needed more than ever during this COVID-19 crisis. Each dollar donated provides $7 worth of food and essentials to the most vulnerable.
Our survey results show that even while transitioning to remote teaching and learning from home this spring, school leaders were resilient – 86% of administrators and PD Coordinators were able to successfully pivot to offering remote PD! Below are some of the other key findings and best practices that were identified in our survey:
1. 70% of administrator’s summer district/school PD plans will include remote or a blend of remote/in-person sessions, while 24% still don’t know how they will proceed.
2. 40% of administrators are planning to offer remote or a blend of remote/in-person sessions for their August PD, while 24% still don’t know how they will proceed.
3. 89% of administrators rated tracking attendance highly because it is important to meet district and/or union requirements as well as manage license requirements.
4. 93% of administrators rated getting feedback on PD sessions from attendees as essential.
5. While 41% of administrators will use Zoom to deliver remote PD, various other technology tools were used this spring or are planned to be used this fall.
48 Best Practices
Here are a few of the 48 best practices that administrators provided, and wanted to share with their peers, from our survey:
- Offer PD that is most relevant for the current time. Put things like testing trainings, building protocols, etc. on the backburner until they are meaningful. Focus on things like building relationships with students in a virtual world and training parents to support their students at home.
- We have created a PD Google Classroom that the school’s PD committee oversees, categorizes, and bundles for easy access with specific content areas for teachers to select from, i.e. SEL, CTE, virtual college tours, and field trips, etc.
- Set virtual meeting norms, i.e. Q&A document to capture thoughts, embedded interactions such as Kahoot, Padlet questions, surveys, etc., include video, and opportunities for everyone to participate.
- Provide articles/information prior to the event to build background knowledge and provide the resources for discussion and application.
- Create a Professional Learning Plan that is really a playlist, so colleagues can select an offering (or offerings) that meet their needs – pedagogy, tools, content.
- Use of breakout rooms, polling, and heavy use of the chat to maintain interaction and engagement.