Time and repetition. Add to that support and collaboration and you have a winning recipe for effective professional development. Try these 8 steps to make sure your PD is as meaningful as possible.
CHOOSE A FOCUS
Do the research and choose one initiative that fits the needs of your staff and student population. Plan to support teachers through this process for 5 years.
Lecture is not going to cut it. Have the teachers doing, reflecting, asking questions, meeting in grade level teams to discuss implications on their curriculum, etc.
The presenters should model the very strategy they are introducing. After all, if this is an effective way to teach, they should be using it too!
Coaches or mentors in the initiative or strategy should be hired to go into teacher classrooms to model and give feedback on teacher implementation throughout the process.
Teachers need to be able to share their experiences of implementation. They need time to collaborate and plan together.
The administrators need the training too. If their teachers are implementing it, admins need to have an understanding of the process.
EVALUATE & REFLECT
Teachers need to assess the impact on student learning to be sure the strategy is having the intended effect.
Both teachers and their students need time to reflect on the successes along the way and celebrate them.