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Making the Most of In-Service Days

Schools and school districts host regular teacher in-service days throughout the year. The purpose of these in-service days is to invest in professional development for teachers. Both individual schools and entire districts may participate in-service days — in the latter instance, teachers from different schools convene in one location. Teachers and administrators give presentations, and teachers engage in workshops ranging from literacy to math to software skills, as well as new developments in classroom management. In-service days give teachers the opportunity to brush up on their skills and discuss important aspects of teaching.

In an online Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies program designed for those interested in school administration, students can learn how to effectively create teacher in-service that bolsters professional knowledge and skill. By considering established approaches and embracing new ideas, teachers and administrators can improve the usefulness of in-service.

Allow Teachers to Present Material to Other Teachers

Teacher in-service used to rely on a top-down model of information sharing. This meant that school principals or administrators were entirely responsible for presenting information to a group of teachers during in-service. That style has changed and now allows teachers to serve as experts as well. When teachers present during in-service, it creates a culture that values their experience and expertise. This energizes teachers and leads to higher job satisfaction.

Encourage Relationship-Building Among Teachers

In-service presentations are shifting from lecture-based to participatory learning models. Research supports the effectiveness of group learning in a workshop style. During teacher in-service, it is common for teachers to break up into small groups in order to share information. Sometimes teachers within the same department, such as science or math, will meet to discuss more specific best practices based on one particular subject.

Encourage Teachers to Implement New Strategies Immediately

Effective teacher in-service leaves teachers inspired and energized, not to mention prepared for new strategies in the classroom. Administrators should encourage teachers to implement new strategies immediately and to share the results with one another. This keeps the excitement fresh in the minds of teaching staff and promotes discussion about these important issues even after teacher in-service.

Encourage Communication Between Teachers

The internet gives teachers an easy way to communicate with each other outside of school. This bridges geographical or departmental gaps between teachers and provides a great way for teachers to present challenges, share results and offer suggestions. Creating an email list or a discussion board is an effective way to maintain momentum after teacher in-service.

Those pursuing a Master of Education in Educational Leadership online will learn how to maximize teacher in-service for teaching staff. Teacher in-service can be important for motivating teaching staff as experts in their own fields, and workshops provide a valuable way for teachers to connect with one another in peer-based learning. When teachers feel engaged and empowered, they bring positive energy into their classrooms.

Learn more about the UT Arlington Online M.Ed. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies.


Sources:

http://www.teachingquality.org/content/blogs/jessica-cuthbertson/all-day's-work-maximizing-inservice-structure

http://learningforward.org/docs/pdf/why_pd_matters_web.pdf


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