Monday, June 23, 2008

Professional Development Resources

I have been hunting and scouring the web for low cost professional development resources that I can use within my center. Of course, it's great to get outside the center for professional development, but the sad fact is, many of my staff won't go to a training if they have to pay for the training and THEN get reimbursed for it.

According to them, this is partially because they are living paycheck to paycheck. Personally, I was living paycheck to paycheck when I was in a direct teaching position also, but I found any way I could to attend trainings. I would volunteer so I could receive reduced admission, talk with my employer about the cost, or ask my employer to cover at least part of the training for me if it was work related.

I don't have direct control over weather my staff can have trainings paid for up front, but if they would just ask, I would definitely look into it. I want to make additional training easy for my staff, so I'm looking into as many free options as possible. Currently, I have three guest speakers lined up to attend staff meetings to provide my staff with training, however, I want to do more for them. I want them to be educated and feel well trained to do their jobs.

So----here are some free or very cheap professional development opportunities that I have discovered via the web.


John Tenny, Ph.D. said...

Have you looked into webinars? If you have a computer, projector, and either a conference call phone (with good speakers) or external speakers and a microphone for the computer, you would be able to 'host' sessions, some with no cost.

We are a software company, eCOVE Software Blog, with software that teachers use in peer coaching - multiple tools to gather objective data on such things as student time-on-task, level of questions being asked, teacher talk/student talk, etc (40 tools in all). We do a free webinar on the data-based observation method that lasts about an hour and it's set up according to your schedule. If that would be useful, email me and we can set it up. You can also get a feel for the discussion on my blog: Data-Based Classroom Observation

Peace, John

Rachie-Babe said...

This is very interesting--I will probably be shooting you an e-mail! I am a preschool administrator--do you think this will be beneficial to the teachers in my center?

John Tenny, Ph.D. said...

The approach and eCOVE Software is widely used in providing feedback to teachers throughout the US (and out of country). It's used somewhat in teacher evaluation, but primarily in professional development.

It's impossible for a teacher to be aware of all the interactions going on in the classroom, and also impossible for an administrator to create a staff of self-directed professionals through judgments and even the best intentioned critical feedback.

Teachers are intelligent and dedicated professionals. When provided with the data, they are both capable and interested in reflecting and planning for improvements.

I have a second blog that's focused on the software itself. eCOVE Software Blog. It's easy to create new tools to track any observable behavior.

And please do email me I'd be happy to help.

Peace, John