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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

Aligning professional development to instructional priorities

ANet blog

As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, our primary concern is helping ensure equitable opportunity for all students.

Working alongside schools, we’ve learned that great teaching is grounded in standards, data, and insights shared among educators. We believe a blog can help us make a difference by spreading the ideas and effective practices of educators we work with.

We’re proud of the expertise our team has built over our ten years, and we'll be featuring contributions from ANetters across the org on topics in which they’ve immersed themselves.

Help us spread opportunity for all students: please share posts that you find valuable with your colleagues. And please add your thoughts in the comments: we would love this blog to facilitate knowledge-sharing in all directions.

Aligning professional development to instructional priorities

Jeff Odell

by Sarah Tierney

We’ve all been there—you’re in a professional development session, wondering, “How does this relate to what I’m working with my students on this month?” or “How will this help me become a better teacher?”

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When schools commit to just one or two instructional priorities and use those priorities to determine their approach to professional development, teacher improvement becomes a continuous cycle of learning and teachers are able to gauge their improvement over time.

Identifying an instructional priority with observable measures is a critical first step to ensuring teachers and leaders share a vision for what great teaching looks like. But what some of our strongest leaders recommend you do next is a key ingredient for success: Advance teachers toward this vision every chance you get, whether it’s through your observation and feedback, during planning or data meetings, or in PD sessions. When leaders seize every development opportunity to be in service of a school’s instructional priority, improvement feels cohesive and relevant, and becomes an invaluable part of what it means to be a teacher.

Click the button below to see tools and resources that will help you develop a plan to connect professional development to your instructional priority.

We’ve spent ten years learning from thousands of leaders and teachers across the country about the things that make a big difference for schools. Now, we want to give you the opportunity to do the same. We’ve organized these Lessons From the Field in a new section of our website by our main areas of focus—everything from harnessing the power of formative assessments to fostering a culture of adult learning.

Sarah is a director of new partnerships and former coach at ANet. She’s leading the Lessons From the Field project.

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