Professional Development for Teachers and Administrators

All Educational Directions PD offerings are action-oriented. Sessions begin with an introduction to issues, include an introduction to the knowledge base related to the resolution of those issues, and then provide participants with facilitated planning time to take what they have learned back into their role at the school or district level.

Our approach to Professional Development moves students from where they are to where they need to be, using best practice methodology, proprietary methods, and goal-oriented strategies. This student-focused, research-based, delivery model ensures students move from where they are, to where they need to be when it’s time for state assessments.

"Educational Directions does not tell you what to do, but gives you tools you can use to better guide the work in your building. Understanding how to disaggregate data beyond the numbers has proven to be priceless when remediating students. Learners truly stand firm on 5 legs of student achievement."

- LaShawn S. Russ | Principal

Development in Four Phases

Our Professional Development series are usually presented in four distinct phases to maximize learner retention and staff adoption. When needed, Educational Directions also provides ongoing coaching and mentoring for both leaders and instructional staff and assists school and district staff in identifying staff members with leadership potential.

Academic Reviews

An academic review is a snapshot review of a school/district in operation by a set of observers from outside the school – observers who have been trained to collect, organize, and interpret a variety of data streams. These reviews can be a general overview at each school in operation or a specific study of one aspect of school operation when necessary (e.g., special education). Our aim is to help schools and districts get to the root of where student work breaks down. Past test results are an important data point, but they are not a decision point. Our academic reviews dig deeper than test scores and aim to create a professional development series that addresses the specific concerns of our partner schools.

Academic Leadership Training

Based on the results from our academic review, we tailor a professional development curriculum that not only supports teachers, but also a session on how academic leadership (superintendents, principals, administrators, etc.) can properly support teachers that are on the front lines of dealing with the issues that come to light. Sessions will prepare participants with strategies to implement changes in culture, climate, work ethic, and data management.

School Staff PD Sessions

Once academic leadership is complete (or almost complete), the follow-up training begins for school staff in developing learner-focused courses, units, and lessons; monitoring student progress as learner and performer; and using data to make informed decisions about support and strategy interventions that are needed to enable all students to be successful.

Data Tracking & Analysis

Our processes rely on baselining and tracking the right data. The first step in this process is to eliminate data that is not helpful (data that is just noise). Next, we aggregate the different data sets that are available and see if there are any blind spots or blanks. If that data already exists within the district, we figure out how to integrate it into a school’s data strategy. If the data does not exist, we helped design assessments, walkthrough forms, and diagnostics that fill out our overall data set so that targeted, data-driven decisions are made. We can look at content-specific areas, but many times the students’ struggles in learning cross content areas. Being able to look at the whole student, looking for successes and struggles, and combining the efforts of teachers from different disciplines is the most effective way for targeting interventions specific to student need.

 

All of Educational Directions’ training, coaching, and mentoring reflects best practice adult learning strategies. All of Educational Directions’ programs include opportunities for building consensus around priorities, and all workshops conclude with the development of personal action plans for taking important elements of the workshop back to the school or district.

When we began professional development sessions with Educational Directions, my school had received a grade of "C" from the state that previous year. By the end of the year, my school had improved from a "C" to an "A," and maintained that grade for 3 consecutive years afterwards...the students and staff at Upson Elementary School truly reaped the benefits of your consultative services.

Margaret Kring | Principal

Sample Professional Development Series Topics

Participants will leave each session with session materials, individual plans and in most cases in basket activities. Educational Directions can provide short term or ongoing coaching if desired.

Closing the
Achievement Gap

The performance gap set introduces Educational Directions approach to “red flag” gaps in scores between and among groups of students.

Ed Directions tries to move beyond labels and scores. Poverty, rural, ESE, and inner city are not treated as causes or seen as adequate reasons for designing programs.

This series of sessions examines issues that may be associated with the labels and develops the knowledge base needed for adults to probe student learning and performing work to identify points at which work breaks down and identify the cause of breakdown.  This allows support and next step learning and performing work to be intentional and targeted to individual student needs.

Turn Around School Improvement

Building Effective Learners: How Do Students Learn?

The first step in Educational Directions’ Turn Around School Improvement Program is the “How Students Learn” series.

This series of sessions focuses on building the knowledge base of participants in the areas of learning theory, brain development and student learning work. The series emphasizes the importance of student work experience in building proficient students and is the foundational understanding for building lessons for learners.

 

Raising Student
Achievement

The raising student achievement set examines state testing expectations and redefines how schools need to think about what has to be raised to “raise achievement.”

With the successful transition expectation in place, schools and teachers need to build cultures and systems that enable students to be “partners” in the learning process. Students must understand expectations and own their work and performance. These sessions build the thinking base for and provide strategies for building student focused learning systems.

College Readiness & Successful Transitions

This series addresses the issue of college/career readiness and the ED approach to preparing students for success. Sessions deal with rethinking college and career entry expectations and relating the expectations to “best practice” class rooms. 

These sessions build the thinking base for and provide strategies for building student engagement and student performance.

Special
Education

This session starts with the learning/performance expected of all students and at how “special students” need to be included in an equivalent developmental process.

It emphasizes the need to build an “outcome focused” thinking base, a proficiency centered culture and links between Special Education students and state testing expectations. It prepares SPED teachers to move their students toward defined outcome expectations.

Early Childhood
Development

Ed Directions has found that the window of opportunity for developing many learner competencies and characteristics connected to MS and HS problems is most open PK-3. 

For this reason, we developed an early learner series. This series of sessions focuses on linking the PK-3 program to HS exit expectations and on the need to build the whole learner. Specific goals, thinking levels and work patterns that are critical to PK-3 program are examined and linked to the development of independent learners, thinkers and performers.

Fully-Customizable Ad-hoc Professional Development Sessions

PD: Building Monitoring and Response to Intervention Systems

Building Monitoring and Response to Intervention Systems This session provides participants with strategies for linking at-risk students with intentional (in terms of risk-factor) and appropriate (timely and least invasive) interventions. A part of the program deals with ongoing analysis of student response to intervention (RTI) and to escalating interventions. 

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PD: Culture and the Rhythm of the Learner Year

Culture and the Rhythm of the Learner Year Participants will be introduced to The Rhythm of the Learner Year methodology and how it can help schools utilize the first three to five weeks of school to build intentional cultures and climates around school wellness.  Outcomes: Participants will learn about

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PD: Building Student Support Systems

Building Student Support Systems This session will focus on identifying and categorizing “frequent flyers” that have a history of disrupting classrooms or take excessive attention from classroom staff. Participants will learn how to build data streams that alert school staff and administration as to “frequent flyers” and those students

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PD: State, School, and District Resources

State, District and School Resources What barriers are families and students in your area facing, and how can they seek out resources for assistance? This professional development session will discuss what resources are in your area for basic needs and mental health issues. Participants will collaborate to generate ideas

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PD: Building Optimum Cultures and Climates

Building Optimum Cultures and Climates This session develops the idea of intentionally developing an optimum culture and climate for learners. Participants will learn about the process of building intentional wellness cultures and climates for schools and classrooms. The participants will evaluate past implementations of student wellness in schools/classrooms and

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PD: Building Intentional K-12 School Plans

Building Intentional K-12 School Plans This session is an introduction into student-focused strategic, logistical, and tactical planning. Participants will rate the mental health programs in their district/school and create action plans for program improvement. Participants will also establish a cognitive base for outcome-based planning, refine school improvement planning regarding

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Let's discuss your professional development needs.