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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Professional Development Plan: A Blend of Montessori and TAP

Brandy C. Sirchia Huguet Southeastern Louisiana University ETEC 665 Dr. William Ennis November 23, 2012

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Integration Idea Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori is both a Montessori and TAP school, and the implementation of both is a carefully choreographed dance. Both programs are wonderful in their own right, but implementing them together has sometimes surfaced as a challenge. However, the design of TAP provides for leadership meetings, grade-level cluster meeting, evaluation, and follow-up of techniques and strategies presented. As a leadership team, based on data collected from last years LEAP and iLEAP scores, it was determined that our student population had the greatest area of need in reading, comprehending, and responding. One effort made to use technology, has been to create Notebook Files for Montessori materials that may not be readily available to all teachers. These files are modeled for the teachers during the gradelevel cluster meetings, assessments are created, mentor and master teachers follow-up with career teachers on the success of each, and the data is compiled and charted weekly. Additionally, each teacher is responsible for creating an individual growth plan that allows him or her to reflect on the benefits and downfalls of each lesson. This data is brought back to cluster and adaptations are made to provide critical attributes that will impact future lessons. Ideas that did not work are molded into a new style or format based on what the teachers notes as difficulties for varying levels of students (high, medium, and low). For instance, if a teacher notices that all students who scored mastery on the assessment circled and underlined key points in a passage, then that becomes a critical attribute to encourage the lower performing students to attain a higher level of achievement. Impact on Teachers Creating and modeling lessons that include the Montessori materials and enhance student learning as it relates to the standardized test assessments in the spring, allows teachers to feel

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

more comfortable in what they are doing and more secure in the idea that the goals can be attained. It also takes some of the pressure off of the teachers to come up with these lessons on their own. Likewise, the weekly follow-up from mentor and master teachers gives teachers a support system to rely on for feedback, team-teaching, and modeling. Teachers buy in and build a desire to better themselves and achieve a common goal of success for the whole school. This encourages collaboration and open discussion that helps weed out issues that may arise. Impact on Students Obviously, when students realize the school is working toward a common goal and their teachers are putting their best effort forth, it encourages them to do likewise. Also, these assessments and follow-up activities allow teacher to differentiate learning for each student that will help him or her have a greater chance of success. The idea that some students will master the skills more quickly than others also lends itself to developing peer tutoring relationships. These relationships provide lower performing students with assistance from students who can feel good about helping their fellow classmates and continue to reinforce their own strong skills by teaching others. Impact on Administrators It is the administrators job to facilitate his or her school in a manner that promotes success for the school, teachers, and students. These meetings that analyze this amount of data and chart the results provide a clear plan of action for improving deficits and reinforcing strengths for both teachers and students. When teachers are teaching to their fullest potential and students are working to their fullest, it is hard not to see positive impacts on school performance scores and morale as a whole. Teachers and students want to succeed, and when the administration implements programs that help them to do so, everyone benefits.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Impact on Community and Others Ultimately, Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori was chosen to be a Magnet Montessori and TAP school in an effort to attract a more diverse population to the school. The primary hope is that these programs will impact the school scores, therefore making the school a more desirable for parents to send their children. Using techniques and the implementation of these technology rich presentations will help to advance our school to the next level. When we reach our goal of bettering our scores, we will have more parents wanting what we provide for their children, and thus we will impact the community in a positive way by diversifying our school climate. Hook to your District (or School) Technology Plan The leadership team will continue to create engaging technology based lessons to present to our teachers during grade-level cluster meetings and create Montessori materials that will be used on the Smart Board. Additionally, the implementation of reading programs such as Mimio (formerly Headsprout), System 44, and Read Naturally will promote student comprehension and fluency. These programs help reinforce the work done in grade-level cluster meetings and help successfully grow students. Mentor and master teachers are responsible for presenting information to career teachers during the grade-level cluster meetings; however, all decision making is done during weekly leadership team meetings. As a whole, the leadership team meets to discuss comments and concerns regarding the lessons presented. At that time changes can be made or the principal can opt to review the suggestions at a later time. Professional Development This job-embedded professional development allows teachers the opportunity to improve their skills and hone their abilities without committing to out of school hour requirements.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Teachers appreciate the time to share and work with their fellow grade-level members for a unified goal. Often one teaching is having success with the strategy and it only takes a simple tweak for another teacher to have the same success. These golden opportunities would be missed without these weekly meeting times. Technology Infrastructure Each classroom at Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori is equipped with an NComputing Station of six computers, a Smart Board, and a teacher computer. This makes the use of the above mentioned reading programs easily accessible. While the primary focus of the grade-level cluster meeting is on reading strategy implementation, students also have access to additional programs for math skills such as FastMath and Skills Tutor. These programs benefit students in their content area while still requiring them to use the comprehension strategies they are currently learning. Communication/Documentation of Success Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori has been fortunate to have our administration promote our successes in the newspapers and on the radio. Of course the most important documentation of our success will lay in our students individual standardized test scores and our school performance score as a whole. All of the data compiled on a weekly basis is referred back to throughout the year. Also, in addition to the state test, the students are given and end-of-the-year benchmark test to document their achievement with the strategies presented to them over the course of the year. Timeline All of this is currently being implemented at Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori since the school received a grant for both Montessori and TAP. The completion of the

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Montessori training for teachers is the spring of 2013. At that point, all teachers who began the training from the beginning will be certified in lower and upper elementary Montessori methods. TAP implementation should continue for years to come because the program has been around for quite a while. These two programs will help to impact students in a productive way over the cross of time and prepare them for bright futures in the secular world. When? Evaluation and Reflection As stated above, there are a number of ways we evaluate and reflect on this process throughout the year. At each weekly meeting, teachers bring data to support the efforts they are making in their classrooms. Each teacher personally reflects on his or her strengths and weaknesses within the classroom. Mentor and master teacher take note of adaptations that need to be made to help make the program more successful. These notes are brought back to the leadership team and discussed. Decisions are made based on what is best for the students, teachers, and school. In the end, teachers and administrators can look back and see what was successful and what was not. This evaluation and reflection allows for the appropriate changes to be made in order to impact student achievement.