think that the creation of the GPS is one of the greatest inventions ever! However, it’s a useless tool if the satellite can’t detect where you are or where you’re going.
Professional Development Plans are the same. It’s great to have a plan, but if you don’t know where you are (what are your strengths or challenges, what goals do you have for yourself) nor where you’re headed (what’s the vision of your school, what type of teacher do you ultimately want to be); then having a plan will be useless.
Here are a few tips for developing an effective professional development plan:
• Determine Your Strengths and Needs: Reflect upon your practices. What are you really good at? In what areas could you stand to grow?
• Collaborate with Others: Work with your administrator and peers to determine your goals, ensuring that they fit into the overall plan for the school.
• Identify Resources: What tools, trainings, and/or persons can help you attain your goals?
• Take Action: Work towards accomplishing your goals consistently. Get feedback from others. Assess whether what you’re doing is positively impacting the achievement of your students.
• Aim Higher: Once a goal is accomplished, set another!
Charting Your Course
From the moment she began her first part-time job as a teacher’s assistant in a church operated daycare center, Davenia knew that she had a passion to work with young children. That job led her on a journey to study early childhood special education as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park and then to work as an early interventionist, working with children, birth-age three, who had varying disabilities for Prince Georges County Public Schools (MD). There she coordinated parent support groups, toddler groups, assessed children, made home visits and assisted to transition children into school-based programs. She "absolutely loved" empowering the families of young children and working to assist each child to meet developmentally appropriate milestones. She also loved working directly with the children and their families and as a mentor for new teachers and pre-service teachers.