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THE PRINCIPALS' TRAINING CENTER

The Top Five Professional Growth Areas

By Bambi Betts
24-May-17


As with all professionals, teachers and principals must continue to grow and learn. PTC and TTC, sister organizations of TIE, provide an array of professional development services to international schools, including workshops and other consulting services requested by individual schools.

What are the top five professional growth areas requested by schools? We have tracked this over a decade; here is what we found for the past two years:

1. Leadership tools and skills for teacher leaders. There is a growing recognition that those leading subject areas or departments, years groups or grade levels, and other similar specific areas can have a strong, positive influence on student learning.

2. Classroom assessment strategies. On the list for over a decade, the emphasis has now shifted strongly toward an interest in how best to leverage ongoing or formative assessment.

3. Standards-based grading, recording, and reporting. Many schools have either made or are in the process of making this shift and wisely seek out examples and training.

4. Curriculum “clean up.” We hear from many schools that want to look again at the “big picture” when it comes to their curriculum. Is it still the right one? Is it fully aligned? Is the system for refreshing it robust? etc.

5. Strategies for personalizing learning and differentiating instruction. Differentiation has made a resurgence in the past couple years, in acknowledgment that learning has always been personal and therefore all our instructional practice must take this into account if our students are to have the optimal opportunity to learn.

Close on the heels of these five topics of interest is international school governance training. In addition to traditional elected boards we are now seeing a surge of new governance models, including “hybrid” boards, self-perpetuating models, single-owner institutions, partnerships, etc. This increasing diversity in our approach to international school governance is prompting many to request guidance in upgrading the professionalism of members and institutions.




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