Authentic Professional DevelopmentReport as inadecuate

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Choosing Higher Options in Community Education (CHOICE) Alternative School is devoted to professional development. This report documents the need for and planning of sustained and supported professional development for 4 staff members at the CHOICE Alternative School in Jamestown, New York. There was no focused plan or vision for staff development for the teachers at the CHOICE Alternative School. Attendance at workshops was sporadic. Workshop topics were not focused deliberately to address the needs of the staff. This staff development plan provided the means to improve and expand teaching skills and performance, to improve student management and achievement, and to prepare for implementation of the New York State Learning Standards and Assessments (University of the State of New York, 1989). Solution strategies included (a) weekly team meetings to collaborate, plan, and implement on-site staff development; (b) use of professional growth plans developed from individual planning and formal self-reflection evaluation instruments to provide teacher-centered planning; (c) use of professional portfolios to provide documentation and self-evaluation of professional growth; (d) the addressing of budget and schedules to insure implementation and follow-through for time and support issues; and (f) participation at districtwide department meetings to provide occasions for collaboration. Results of the study included increased staff awareness and use of student management techniques and higher accountability by teachers with respect to student academic expectations, attendance, and positive behavior. The CHOICE Alternative School became a well-managed school with improved student achievement and teacher success, satisfaction, and respect. Four appendixes are included: (1) Timeline for Implementation; (2) My Professional Development Plan; (3) Tuesday Work Plan; and (4) Participation Rubric. (Contains 3 figures.)

Descriptors: State Standards, Teacher Improvement, Teacher Competencies, Nontraditional Education, Academic Achievement, Workshops, Teaching Skills, Faculty Development, Teacher Collaboration, Teamwork, Planning, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Budgets, Classroom Techniques, Accountability, Teacher Expectations of Students, Attendance Patterns, Student Behavior, High Risk Students, High School Students, Educational Environment

Author: Kenneson, Paula M.


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