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Design a professional development plan that implements the Professional Learning Communities (the PLC) process at the schools Essay Example

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10PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Professional Development Plan

Introduction

An optimal learning environment is one of the primary educational obligations of most of the countries in the world. Teaching is the main process in education and teaching quality is an important character for our teacher. Numerous strategies are provided to try and minimize the effects of problems on the learning process. One of these strategies is the Professional Learning Community (the PLC) (Huffman, 2010).

To improve learning outcome, it might have a professional group of teacher. So that, teachers must have a new ways to get perfect training and the quality of teachers graduating will improve. Recent studies on PLC model indicate that its success and effectiveness is embedded into the culture that will enable the teachers sustain their efforts for a prolonged time and these efforts would result to better learning outcomes for students, as well as stock of experience for teachers attained through training and practice. However, much of the reviewed literature in relation to the PLC has been based on Anglo-American setting (Huffman et al., 2014).

The practice, impression, as well as the concepts of PLCs relating to other cultural backgrounds has been principally neglected. Nonetheless, as an insight in PLCs’ promise receives global recognition, it is imperative appreciate the efforts from other countries. Hence, this paper will aim at designing a Professional Development Plan that implements the Professional Learning Communities process at the schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with more emphasis on Teacher Professional Development.

Background

In the recent past, numerous changes have occurred in education systems across the globe. The Education systems have become more competitive and the only remedy for quality education is perfect training for teachers to in order to provide quality education and better educational outcomes for students. However, this could only be achieved if all the stakeholders in the education system collaborate to come up Professional Development Plans that align with the objective and goals for Professional Learning Community. However, the national, provincial, as well as the educational systems within the state framework have set higher expectations to make schools Professional Learning Community (Hipp et al., 2008).

Hence, through the assistance of stakeholders and educators they have devised methods to engage teachers are perfectly trained so as to enhance student learning. Therefore, this can only be realized if schools would establish Professional Development plans aimed at emphasizing on practices that would help to improve the student’s educational outcomes in schools. The overall goals for this plan should focus on professional development, collaboration, strong culture training and education for teachers and sustained practical focus aimed at improving academic performance for students (Jensen et al., 2012).

Therefore, for a plan on Teacher Professional Development to be comprehensive, key dimensions of the PLCs process, as well as the external support systems will be included. Strategies that must be involved in the designing of the plan on Teacher Development Plan include strategies on organizational structure, policies, and procedures, leadership strategy, professionalism strategy, community sense strategy and learning capacity strategy (Huffman et al., 2014).

Strategy on Organizational Structure, Policies, and Procedures

The plan on Teacher Professional Development at schools in the United Arab Emirates will concentrate on well designed school-based professional development structured system. This system will be aimed at providing structural teachers’ support, as well as providing them with an opportunity to collaborate in work and learning. The strategy will include well designed timetable on professional learning lessons, technology, infrastructure, space and resources (Huffman, 2010) necessary for a plan on Teachers Professional Development (TPD). Systematic plan on professional development for teachers will be implemented during their second, fourth, sixth and eighth years throughout their teaching profession career.

This will be a long term plan for schools in the UAE that sets definite expectations, objectives, as well as and goals to be attained by teachers at distinct stages of their career. Teachers aged below 35 years and those who are below the level of Senior Teacher should attend lectures and strictly participate in activities on TPD. Further, the TPD plan will require teachers to engage in research work and present their findings on various topics on education. This is aimed at improving their knowledge on Professional Learning Communities in order to enhance their understanding on the nature of education and minimize the effects of problems on the learning process (Wang, 2013). After successful training on through TPD, teachers will be expected to teach a class of 40-50 students for a minimum of 10-12 hours weekly.

The plan will also require teachers to spend at least two hours while marking students’ papers. Further, the professional development plan on TPD will require students to engage on an individual consultation session for at least two hours per day. Similarly, the designed plan will give adequate time for engagement in professional training, as well as collaboration for teachers to facilitate PLCs with a profession group of teachers (Hattie, 2003). In addition to interaction between teachers, the design will give them an opportunity to engage in informal discussion for duration of two hours once per week.

In the TPD plan to de designed at UAE schools, the informal conversation will involve discussion on collective school-based learning tasks such as class observations, preparation of timetable, lesson preparation, open lessons and action research. However, these tasks will be in line with the strategies of the PLCs and they should demonstrate the effectiveness of teachers’ training on professional development. The design of the plan on the TPD will utilize school resources such as a conference room within the school. Hence, resources are aimed at facilitating and promoting the sustainability, as well as the development of the processes on PLCs (Huffman et al., 2014).

Leadership strategy

In designing the Teachers Professional Development, it is imperative to include the definitions of leadership types, as well as strategies for teachers to gain a better understanding on strategies of the PLCs. Major descriptions to be included in the plan includes modelling practices on training, responsibility, sharing of vision among a group of professional teachers. The TPD plan to be designed will incorporate induction programs coupled with mentoring schemes. The plan for the UAE schools will require perfectly trained teachers to mentor newcomers in the school. The design will require a new teacher teaching in UAE School to appoint a mentor among the experienced teachers after observing their classes for some time (Wang, 2013).

The plan will require the school to appoint a master level or a senior teacher to mentor the newly employed teachers. The mentorship program will at least take more than a year for newcomers to adapt to the new environment and have the opportunity to learn the school requirements for Professional Learning Community. Also, the plan will honour and recognize the efforts of the mentor in training newly employed teachers to get accustomed in the professional setting. However, the plan will not force newly employed teachers to join the mentorship program, but it will require them to act within a professional setting guided by the PLCs process. The plan will be meant to improve the teaching ability for the teachers, self-efficacy, as well as increasing their emotional bond with the school community (Wang, 2013). Similarly, the new teachers will be required to devote at least 120 minutes per day with their mentor. However, the plan will be school-based as mentorship program will be incorporated into the school system as the mentor will be allocated an office within the school premises.

The plan will be aimed at developing expert teachers who will be able to cooperate as a team to enhance the educational outcome for the students while utilizing the PLCs’ strategies. Equally significantly, the plan on the Teacher Professional Development will involve sharing of strategies between the expert teachers and the new teachers under mentorship. Although the mentorship program will be intended to develop a professional group of teachers, this does not imply that the new teachers are not professionals (Hattie, 2003). To shed more light on the program, other teachers trained teachers under the mentorship program should not regard newcomers as inexperienced rather they are supposed to cooperate with them in order to increase the number of professional teachers with the UAE educational system.

Professionalism strategy

The designed plan for Teachers Profession Development will be aimed at increasing the number of professionals with the schools in the UAE to achieve the goals and the objectives of the Professional Learning Community. The designed plan will engage teachers in various learning networks for cross-school professionals. Under the TPD plan teachers will be provided with an opportunity to learn from other schools through observing how their colleagues from other schools manage their classes. The plan will involve the contribution of the provincial, as well the municipal education authorities in corroboration with the professional networks to organize workshops and seminars to help the schools in the UEA become PLCs through engaging experts to train teachers to help them become professionals (Wang, 2013).

The plan will seek to identify five top performing all category schools in UEA and how their teaching practice can be shared with other schools. After, identification of top performing schools, other schools will teach the same topics taught in those schools in order to rate their performance. The plan will also involve open lessons for two months where teachers from different schools will interact and share their professional experience on learning and how they can achieve the goals of professional learning community. Hence, the aim of the Teachers Professional Development plan in the professional strategy is to facilitate knowledge sharing, as well as the capacity building. Further, the plan will incorporate collaborative activities within the description of the PLCs. Teachers will be supposed to undertake collective activities as a professional group to enhance student’s learning (Barber & Mourshed, 2007).

Hence, TPD plan will require teachers to undertake such as activities on a daily basis during their interaction. Additionally, the plan will require all teachers to assume more learning responsibilities for personal learning and integrate it to the student learning. District involvement intended to be aligned with the plan will be a critical aspect of professionalism of the teachers. Through the support of the district, the plan intends to make school work sustainable and purposeful through establishment of priorities and provision of resources to promote the development of professionalism. The district leadership will provide coordination with various stakeholders who include the members of the community, parents, educational authorities, businesses, as well as the families in the overall school decision making process (Wang, 2013).

Learning Capacity strategy

The Teachers Professional Development plan will include the learning strategies for it be successful within the UAE schools and meet the standards of the PLCs. The plan will emphasize on the teachers’ willingness, sincerity and capacity to get training on new strategies. Further, it will involve individual research and use of data for teachers to improve their problem solving techniques. The plan will require all teachers whether new or expert teachers to have regular open lessons. Further, the plan will improvise measures to rate the effectiveness of the open lessons and the ability of teachers in demonstrating their professional expertise incessant improvement of the training outcome. The plan will engage junior teachers more on open lessons while expert teachers will be supposed to demonstrate teaching skills to their junior colleagues. The principal objective of the strategy is to help all teachers become professionals and fit within the PLCs (Hargreaves, 2011).

Under the TPD plan, a junior teacher will be expected to give open lessons at least two to four times per semester. As per the requirements of the plan three open lessons will be conducted within the school while the other one lesson in another school to facilitate collaborative professionalism. Further, the plan will give the teachers an opportunity for open lessons presentation at different levels schools levels whether in district, municipal, provincial or national schools. Also, the plan will require different teachers to review a similar topic using diverse approaches. Junior teachers will be expected to take three to five weeks in planning, designing, reflecting and doing final touches on a teaching plan so as to come up with a comprehensive plan to produce better academic outcomes for the students. Thus, the plan will help new teachers to become professionals in their careers as per the description of the PLCs (Huffman et al., 2014).

The strategy on the sense of community

The Teachers Professional Development may not be within the framework of the PLCs if sense of community is ignored in the context of the UAE schools. The plan will be required to emphasize more on school’s culture and the environment. Hence the plan will involve the members of the community in its endeavours to fit within the description of the PLCs. All the teachers under the TPD plan will be required to research on the community values, collegial influence, as well as the respect for community norms. The plan will involve a group of teachers to create a schedule of activities happening at the community setting and select any activity they can participate in appreciating the contribution of the community in the learning process (Louis, Dretzke & Wahlstrom, 2010).

To make the bond between the members of the community and the school stronger, community leaders will be consulted by the school administration under the TPD plan. Expert teachers will be involved in selecting the appropriate activities that the school can engage with the community. Equally importantly, junior teachers will be expected to learn more on the community through interaction for three to four weeks to gain a better understanding on how the community affects profession. The sense of the community supports devotion to collective responsibility, teamwork, as well as collaboration (Olivier, 2008).

Conclusion

In conclusion, designing a Professional Development Plan that implements the Professional Learning Communities process at the schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with more emphasis on Teacher Professional Development may be challenging while simultaneously can prove to be overwhelmingly rewarding. Therefore, as schools in UAE try to design plans on professional development, they should consider their effectiveness in producing better for teachers and student learning. Teachers form an indispensable part for any school to fit in the description of PLCs as they increase to their stock of experience and knowledge to become professionals.

Any plan should aim at improving the students’ outcome through the efforts of expert teachers. Thus the training is an important aspect of attaining the goals and objectives of any particular to make the learning process effective. Therefore, if schools implement good plans on professional development with the key focus on teachers the results will be outstanding. Nonetheless, as school leaders integrate these strategies and teachers remain committed to shared responsibility and involve the parents, as well as the members of the community, they will realize an influential culture budding- professional learning in community.

References

. London: McKinsey & Company.How the World’s Best-Performing School Systems Comen out on TopBarber, M., & Mourshed, M. (2007).

, October 28-30, Beijing.The Future of Teaching and Educational Change. Paper presented at The Global Teacher Education Summit: Push, Pull and NudgeHargreaves, A.( 2011).

. Australia: University of Auckland. Distinguishing Expert Teachers from Novice and Experienced TeachersHattie.(2003).

. Journal Educational Change (2008) 9:173–195Sustaining professional learning communities: Case studiesHipp, K. K., Huffman, J. B., Pankake, A. M., & Olivier, D.F. (2008).

. USA : University of North Texas, TX, Professional Learning Communities in the USA: Demystyfying, Creating, and SustainingHuffman, J.B. (2010).

. Texas: University of North Texas Denton, TX.Professional Learning Community Development in High Schools: Conceptualizing the PLC Process through a Global PerspectiveHuffman, J.B., Olivier, D. F., Wang, T., Chen, P., Hairon, S., & Pang, N. S.K. (2014).

Jensen, B., Hunter, A., Sonnemann, J. and Burns, T. (2012) Catching Up: Learning from the Best School Systems in East Asia (Sydney: Grattan Institute).

. London: RoutledgeSchool Effectiveness and School Improvement: An International Journal of Research, Policy and PracticeLouis, K., Dretzke, B. & Wahlstrom, K. (2010).

. Paper presented at the 26th Annual Conference of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI), Santiago, Chile, January 3-6. Demystifying professional learning communities in Chinese schoolsWang, T. (2013).