This past year at the elementary level we spent the entire year familiarizing ourselves with Writing Workshop, with the idea all teachers will hit the ground running with this framework in 2016-2017. Formal professional development included: three three-hour sessions, a six-hour consultant workshop, an all-day site visit to a school in New Jersey, optional planning time, and an optional book study…That being said, it would be a shame (and nonsensical) if all of this time and effort didn’t result in noticeable, pedagogical shifts in regards to the way our students engage in writing.
Nonetheless, from what I have experienced…Far too often, professional development involves throwing a bunch of loosely related ideas at a wall, crossing our fingers, and hoping something will stick and the necessary instructional shifts will be made.
When a topic is the primary focus of professional development, the goal should be for change that is sticky systemic. That is, the change should be (1) sustainable and (2) prevalent across the district/school(s).
With these thoughts in mind, here are four ways to make professional development sticky systemic.