Stepping Up Professional Learning and Educator Support in the New School Year
In this Education Talk Radio interview on “Stepping Up Professional Learning and Educator Support this School Year,” host Larry Jacobs talks with Donna Reichman, Assistant Superintendent for Wayne Township Public Schools, and Dr. Robin Knutelsky, District Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Northern Highlands Regional High School District, about how professional learning has changed.
Each new school year brings a promise of growth in students and teachers, as well as in professional learning. Teachers and administrators across the country prepare for the new school year by designing professional learning that is meaningful and engaging for their staff. Although educators could not have predicted it, post-pandemic professional learning in school districts across the country has changed dramatically.
During the lively interview, Reichman shared some important lessons learned post-pandemic, “We all learned that things can change overnight and we truly need to have an emergency preparedness plan in place with digital tools for teaching and learning.” She also shared the importance of educator continuity and how a district’s commitment to quality professional learning contributes to teacher retention.
Lisa Schmucki, edWeb.net founder and CEO, and Melissa Hodgson, edWeb Manager of Professional Learning, joined the interview as well to discuss the well-researched features of edWeb that support the ever-changing needs and interests of educators. Both Reichman and Dr. Knutelsky shared ways their districts have leveraged edWeb, a free professional learning platform, to shape their professional learning offerings for this school year.
Dr. Knutelsky shared that Northern Highlands has aligned their professional learning to their school district goals and provided three “PD Pathways” for teachers to choose from. Her district has provided specific professional learning pathways while using curated edWeb content that can be accessed through an edWeb community just for her school district. “We want to make sure that the professional learning we are providing is flexible and that teachers have choice,” stated Dr. Knutelsky.
Reichman shared that her district lets Wayne staff use CE certificates earned for viewing edWebinars for credit towards salary advancement. This save the district money in tuition reimbursement since edWebinars are free. Hodgson also noted that edWeb is approved for teacher re-licensure in 42 states and by a growing number of states for early childhood and by a number of professional associations. edWeb offers live and recorded edWebinars in a wide range of professional learning areas for preK – 12 educators in all roles, providing exceptional choice and flexibility to personalize the learning.
Reichman shared the importance of professional learning for teacher retention, especially for new teachers. She said, “We really need to make sure that we give them training and digital tools and resources so they stick with us.” Larry Jacobs commented on the importance of teacher retention, “Retention is the new recruitment.”