Providing Professional Development for Teachers (Preview)

Part 1: Intro & Objectives

The single most important factor in student success is the classroom teacher. For that reason, ensuring that students receive quality instruction is one of the most important jobs of a school leader.

This module focuses on ways that school leaders can create professional development that will benefit teachers and students. Additionally, the module highlights ways to help individual teachers with greater needs.

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. Explore effective practices related to professional development
  1. Examine ways to deal with a struggling teacher

Part 2: Demonstration Videos

Dealing with struggling teachers is often a very difficult job for new leaders. Before watching this video, consider ways that you would help a struggling teacher.

  1. How would you identify a struggling teacher?
  1. How would you provide resources for that teacher?

Now that you have watched the video, you probably have some feelings and opinions about the school leaders behavior. Below are some questions and statements to consider and discuss and even write down before talking to a colleague about them:

  1. What concerns did the principal have about workign with a struggling teachers?
  1. What steps did the mentor in this video suggest that the principal take?
  1. What do you view as the most crucial steps in this process?

Create your own plan to deal with a struggling teacher.

This video captures a conversation between a new school leader and a veteran administrator serving as his mentor. The conversation focuses on a teacher who is clearly struggling with her classroom. The mentor helps the principal identify steps that can be taken to help the struggling teacher.

Part 3: Resources & Activities


Due to copyright law, several readings cannot be hosted on this site. However, we encourage you to ask for assistance locating materials from your library media specialist. Many library services are freely available to educators.

Seven principles for effective professional development for diverse schools

This article focuses on seven effective practices that should guide effective professional development for schools with diverse student populations.

Abelardo, V. (2005). Seven principles for effective professional development for diverse schools. IRDA Newsletter. Retrieved from

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What works in professional development?

This article is a synthesis of some of the most relevant research related to professional development. The author encourages educators to critically assess and evaluate the effectiveness of what they do.

Guskey, T. & Suk Yoon, K. (2009). What works in professional development? Phi Delta Kappan, 90, 495-500. Retrieved from

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What Makes Professional Development Effective? Results From a National Sample of Teachers
American Educational Research Journal December 21, 2001 38: 915-945. DOI: 10.3102/00028312038004915

This empirical study included a sample of over 1000 educators and attempted to analyze which features of professional development had positive impacts on teachers. The authors in the study were able to identify three key features.

Note: This reading is optional

View Article

Part 4: Review & Reflect

Please address the following questions and issues below. If you have difficulty, go back and review the lesson. School leaders are partially responsible for the professional development of their teachers.

Create a plan that highlights the main steps you would take to develop professional development to your entire faculty.

  1. How would you evaluate the success of your professional development plan?
  1. How would you create a specialized plan for a struggling teacher?

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