‘What are the benefits of scheduled professional development time for teachers?’
Good teachers are learners. We always want to provide the best scaffold of learning for our students, and developing our practice enables us to do this more effectively. However, in a busy school with lots of busy staff, sometimes opportunities for Professional Development are limited, are cancelled or overridden, or are used to bookend the academic year.
At OneSchool, we recognise the importance of both time for, and flow of, Professional Development. Across the globe, we offer our educators scheduled opportunities throughout the academic year for staff to undertake rigorous, enquiry-led career development events. This time is protected and mapped out to build Professional Learning Journeys.
“Here in the UK for example, in addition to five full-day training days, our campuses close 50 minutes early every Wednesday and staff have protected professional development time, which is either self-directed or led live by OneSchool educators.”
“This is also supplemented by campus-based training and departmental time across the year to ensure a full range of support and development is available to all staff.”
– OneSchool Global UK Teacher Academy Director, Louise Reynolds.
The Enquiry-Led Professional Development Approach
Using an enquiry-led approach to Professional Development, OneSchool staff have the opportunity to spend time orientating themselves with and researching a key area of educational focus. Some of these focus areas include growing effective leadership behaviours, developing thinking skills in students, enhanced use of digital tools for assessment for learning, or utilising MAP data to drive progress, amongst numerous other Professional Development Assignments available to our staff. Staff are then provided with the time and space in their workload to explore how to apply this Professional Learning to their practice.
This enquiry-led approach allows for real-world application, immediate impact and professional reflection which is authentic and which staff have the time and space to actively engage in.
This dedicated, regular time means that strategies can be immediately tested and then refined, and the growing variety of Assignments available to staff ensure that all needs are met. We build in opportunities for collaboration and the creation of small learning communities, to build collective teacher efficacy and the growth mindset characteristics we additionally seek to develop in our students.
OneSchool Global recognises that time is the most important factor in implementing Professional Development. By regularly scheduling and protecting time across our academic years, we are able to maximise impact, enjoyment and the number of staff who are given the opportunity to continue to ‘Learn to Learn’.