Summer Professional Reading  

July 07, 2014
As a classroom teacher, summer break would always give me the opportunity to complete the professional reading list I had developed during the school year. As I read the May issue of Educational Leadership, I thought it would be a great summer read for those of you interested in leading your schools in enhancing a culture of learning that goes much deeper than the traditional workshop. Each article will inspire you to work collaboratively to design professional learning that is engaging, job embedded, and focused on feedback that improves teacher practice!

Whether you are an administrator or teacher, there are many designs for professional learning included in this issue that could completely transform the learning culture in your school and promote practices that significantly impact instruction and ultimately improve student achievement. As you consider summer reading material, I highly recommend this as a must read. Below you will find seven key quotes from the Educational Leadership issue that put the collective wisdom of the authors in a nutshell. Have a great summer, and happy reading!

•  To be successful in professional development efforts we must plan backward, beginning with the student learning outcomes. ~Thomas R. Guskey
•  Just as surgeons see observation and coaching as vital to improving their craft, so should teachers. ~Emily Dolci Grimm
•  Teachers have a great deal of knowledge about their practice and their students that is incredibly valuable to other teachers. ~Rebecca Van Tassell
•  When video recording is shared in a way that supports each educator’s intrinsic desire to improve, it can be a powerful tool for rapid, significant improvement. ~Jim Knight
•  Educators must ensure that professional learning networks are more than a forum for sharing war stories or a platform for promoting personal preferences about instruction. ~Richard DuFour
•  When professional development fails to deliver genuine, face-to-face interactions with other people, educators feel cheated. ~John Settlage & Adam Johnston
•  We have to remember that teachers are professionals who use their classrooms as innovative laboratories and want to engage in authentic learning. ~Kristen Swanson

Source: The collective wisdom of authors published in the May 2014 issue of Educational Leadership, “Professional Learning: Reimagined” (Volume 71, Issue 8).

-by Kelly Clapp, Professional Development Coordinator