Professional Development for Teachers and Administrators

Professional development sessions for groups of educators, school leaders, and administrators aimed at improving the performance of students within a given school district, county, or state.

In addition to our school intervention/improvement programs, we also have several professional development series and ad-hoc classes. Our main professional development series, The Rhythm of the Learner Year, is our most popular series, especially when supporting a school entering one of our intervention levels. In some cases, districts have needed additional professional development.

Educational Directions knows that “best practice professional development for educators” should be output, not input driven. This shifts the focus to student performance demands rather than the common emphasis on teacher performance changes, which are unrelated to the student expectations.

Sample School Improvement Program
Professional Development Series Topics

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. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

 

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. 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.

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. 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.

 

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. 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. 

Our professional development courses are customized to meet the needs of the specific district or region with which we are working. There is no one size fits all set of professional development sessions that we would use district to district or state to state.

Customizable Ad-hoc Professional Development Sessions

PD: Levels of School Intervention Strategies

Levels of School Intervention Strategies This session is focused on identification and intervention strategies for school leaders and school staff. Participants assess their readiness to support at-risk students at the appropriate level, identify their needs for successful use, and develop action plans successful implementation.  Outcomes: Participants extend their understanding of universal...

Sample Session Information

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.  Outcomes: Participants...

Sample Session Information

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 as to...

Sample Session Information

PD: Screening for Students At-Risk

Screening for Students At-Risk This session is an introduction to utilizing and analyzing universal screeners (Drummond, BASC3-BESS, or SAEBRS). These universal screeners contain characteristics that staff would use to initially determine children and youth who might be at-risk.  Outcomes: Participants will gain a working knowledge of at-risk characteristics of students, how...

Sample Session Information

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 student wellness,...

Sample Session Information

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 whose disruptive...

Sample Session Information

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 The Rhythm...

Sample Session Information

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 how they...

Sample Session Information

Development Based on Research

Our company, Ed Directions, was founded in 1998 to support schools in the move from the old “input” age of reform to the “output” focus required by the new requirements and our early work with schools caused us to rethink much of what we “knew” about reforming schools. We learned, for example, that changing planning processes or teaching strategies doesn’t work if we fail to address the thinking patterns that shape the way schools interpret the plans.

One example of thinking that caused problems involves the presumed cause of student performance. For many schools, failure meant that the student did not learn the material tested and plans reflected this. Our research, however, indicated that student performance rests on five “legs” and all affect performance. We knew that if a school’s planning, program and curriculum did not assess and develop all five legs, we could have students learn and know but still fail to “pass” a test.  Therefore, the 5 Legged Model is used throughout much of our Professional Development programs and serves as a cornerstone for the development of learners and performers.

 

Knowledge

Attitude

Perception

Thinking

Experience