Opinion
Professional Development Opinion

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

By Corrina Knight — October 24, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Have you ever tried on a “one size fits all“ garment and thought to yourself, “Who does this fit?“ Have you ever noticed the same problem with staff-development strategy? How would professional development look if it were custom-tailored?

In my school, teachers work on learning teams within subject areas to set their own professional direction. We tailor our learning experiences to students’ needs and our professional interests. This has heightened our interest and commitment to growth.

See Also

Return to the main story,

Giving Teachers the Reins

When selecting an area of study, my team bases its decisions on ensuring student success. First, we identify the obstacles that keep us from meeting that goal. Those obstacles then become our list of professional development topics. From there, we narrow by consensus, interest, need, data, and experience. Once we have a focus, we devise a cycle of improvement that includes:

1. Research and reading: What are others in our field doing?

2. Brainstorming: What can we do with our new knowledge?

3. Conducting a trial: How well does this work in our classrooms?

4. Evaluating: Have we been successful?

5. Tweaking: What would make this better?

6. Assimilating: How do we make this part of our routine?

7. Sharing findings: Whom can we tell about this?

For schools to break out of the “one size fits all“ professional development model, teachers need three essentials: flexibility, freedom, and trust. Our team is given the flexibility to work productively, unencumbered by rigid external guidelines. Most importantly, we’re trusted to make the best instructional decisions for our kids.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the October 25, 2007 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook as One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!


Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Professional Development Spotlight Spotlight on Professional Development for Technology
This Spotlight will help you you evaluate your PD priorities and approaches, get insights on how others are pivoting their programs and more.
Professional Development Opinion If You’re Conducting PD, Seek Engagement With Educators
Professional development can seem one-sided when the facilitator has all the power. Pre-engagement surveys can effectively turn that dynamic around.
4 min read
Theory and Practice
Shutterstock
Professional Development Opinion Developing Success Criteria With PD Participants to Engage in Deeper Learning
Success criteria show educators how we believe they will be successful at the end of a lesson. Let's involve them in the process.
4 min read
Professional Development Opinion 4 Essential Elements Needed Right Now to Engage in Leadership Coaching
Leadership coaching is growing, but there are some important elements to consider before anyone engages in a coaching relationship.
6 min read
shutterstock 1586195833
Shutterstock