Thoughts and Tools

MCS PD Meeting Agenda

I've been thinking about the Professional Development efforts at Madison Christian Schools quite a bit.  As part of my thoughts, I'm imagining having a meeting with my administration.  If I could have that meeting, here's an pseudo-agenda for what we could talk about.  It's not quite a real agenda, because I'd want a lot more dialogue than the dense outline suggests.  But I can imagine what it might turn into, so I've made some guesses as to what our conversation might entail.  Most important is the list at the end: a short but potent set of changes that we could make to our current PD efforts.  Those changes would leverage our current structures while leaving the stated 


Agenda for Meeting with Administration

  1. Introduction to main ideas
    1. PD best practices (Gulamhussein, A., 2013)
      1.  The duration of professional learning must be significant and ongoing to allow time for faculty to learn a new strategy and grapple with the implementation problem.
      2. There must be support for a teacher during the implementation stage that addresses the specific challenges of changing classroom practice.
      3. Initial exposure to a concept should not be passive, but rather should engage faculty through varied approaches so they can participate actively in making sense of a new practice.
      4. Modeling has been found to be highly effective in helping faculty understand a new practice.
      5. The content presented to faculty shouldn’t be generic, but instead specific to the discipline (for middle school and high school faculty) or grade-level (for elementary faculty).
    2. Strengths of current PD development model
      1. Focus
      2. Resources
      3. Duration
      4. Biweekly format
  2. Addressing long term goals through faculty empowerment and collaboration: identify corresponding lag and lead measures
    1. Effective engagement of all students in a diverse classroom setting 
      1. Faculty plan for diversity in content language and examples when lesson planning
      2. Faculty collaborate in small groups to problem solve lesson designs for greater engagement
      3. Faculty measure the amount of dis-engagement by students
      4. Faculty collaborate with others to problem solve patterns of dis-engagement 
    2. Classrooms reflect the cultures of diverse learners 
      1. Faculty evaluate classroom decorations for appropriate diversity
      2. Students contribute or create meaningful classroom decorations
      3. Faculty allow for student choice in project format and content, where appropriate
      4. Faculty collaborate to identify internet resources that reflect broader diversity
    3. Faculty embrace robust philosophies that empower learning in a diverse classroom
      1. Faculty critically evaluate lesson plans for their driving philosophies 
      2. Faculty engage in small group discussions about learning-centered teaching philosophies
      3. Faculty experience learning-centered lessons 
      4. Faculty experience effective learning in a diverse classroom
    4. Effective integration of technology tools and technology based techniques for student learning 
      1. Faculty reflect on the effectiveness and use of technology integration in their lessons
      2. Faculty plan new units with ICT tools
      3. Faculty collaborate to problem solve ICT integration issues
      4. IT support staff offer regular support for faculty
    5. Suggestions for change
      1. Modify current biweekly meeting format to move towards small group collaborative discussions
      2. Add explicit IT support for collaboration, planning, and implementation needs
      3. Provide focus for collaborative times through provided focus questions
      4. Create stronger evaluation specificity in alignment with long-term PD goals


Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the Teacher; Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability: National School Board Association, Center for Public Education.

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Curtis White, M.S., M.C.E.
High School Faculty
Math, Science, Bible & Computers
Abundant Life Christian School
A Madison Christian School