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February 17, 2010

Does anyone else feel the urgency?

by Chris Lindholm

Several recent discussions regarding plans for a staff development day have left me wondering if others feel the same urgency that seems to plague me endlessly.  Research is clear that the most important thing we can do to improve student achievement is improve the quality of instruction.  Teachers are the key.  While some seem to wonder what they will do with two hours of staff development time that they have to plan for, I constantly wonder how we can possibly improve our performance with the small amount of staff development time allocated to us!  It's much like expecting the football team to improve it's performance without any practices… absurd we would say… but that's we coaches/principals have to deal with in public education…  game time every day… you get a practice 3 times a year…

To pacify my aggravation, I started a list of some of the staff development needs that are flashing brightly… now if only I had some practice time…  here goes:

  • Further Rigor & Relevance work
  • RTI training
  • Development of classroom interventions
  • SpEd qualification criteria and processes
  • Brain Research
  • Teaching meta-cognitive thinking strategies
  • Embedding real literacy strategies and curriculum in all subject areas
  • Teaching academic writing in all subject areas
  • SIOP training
  • Leadership development for teacher leaders
  • Technology – how to use it to improve student achievement
  • Academic Advising
  • Building a learning community
  • Counseling students

Whew… just getting warmed up…

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