After having a few more discussions with colleagues regarding changing teacher practice and philosophy over the past week, I really think that professional development must be required to maintain professional status and the time for this need to be incorporated into the regular school day. Educators are busy and most of them will not create the time to develop and reflect. I think that they feel this may be important, but they probably don’t feel that they have the time and the energy “at this point in their in their life’.
The school day could be structured differently: the school could commence at 8:00 am – students at school from 8:30 – 4:30 or 5:00; teachers could work until 5:00 with 3 hours working time built into their day. Some of this time should be devoted to professional development, perhaps 5hours/week and the rest of the time – 10 hours for preparation… The younger students 5 – 14 could be at school for the entire time if needed/wanted by families, because many of the older students are roaming the streets until parents get off of work. Time for structured play, educational movies, reading time (hour at a time for 10-14 year olds) exercise, and homework… could be built into this day. Teachers would be encouraged to only work at school, so that they can have more “normal” working lives. I have often felt that one of the reasons that teachers do not want to add PD to their lives is because they are so used to working at home. The thought of adding more work to their home lives is just not appealing, regardless of how important it might be.
Just a few thoughts…
And... thanks Dean.