Handbook for Professional Learning activities

This collection contains the Handbook for Professional Learning as well as all related activities. 

Included Resources

The Handbook for Professional Learning is a comprehensive resource that offers step-by-step guidance on the stages of planning, implementing, and evaluating professional development at schools. It includes:

  • a year-long view of possible professional learning cycles,
  • a menu of differentiated professional learning options,
  • needs assessments,
  • intervisitation guidelines, and
  • a checklist for planning professional learning throught the year.

The Handbook for Professional Learning is designed to be a workbook to be used within each school's specific context.

This template from the Handbook for Professional Learning can be used to help schools organize and track the work of different learning teams.

This template from the Handbook for Professional Learning can be used to help schools' professional learning teams plan and assess their work throughout a learning cycle.

Through reading, discussion and planning, this 70-90 minute session that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning will familiarize participants with the principles of Professional Learning and guide them through planning for Professional Learning in their school communities.

This activity that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning moves participants through the stages of conducting a thorough and comprehensive needs assessment to identify professional learning topics for their school.

Through discussion and planning, this 90 minute activity that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning will help participants articulate their own professional needs and/or areas of expertise as well as surface the broader needs and expertise of the community.

When considering evaluation remember that the process of developing PL starts with identifying needs and outcomes and defining success. These charts  that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning document how an evaluation plan is developed at the onset of the planning process. The example shows the trajectory for a ninth grade teacher team studying formative assessment.

By answering a set of questions in this activity that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning, participants can come together and plan for the ways in which they can help develop and support a successful school culture. These questions are centered on what makes a school successful, ranging from school culture to family engagement. After teachers consider their own answers, they compare their answers with colleagues and arrive upon three things they can do to contribute to a successful school year by building school culture. 

The Compass Points Activity that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning enables teams to explore various preferences that individual members use to approach learning, focuses team understanding on the strengths and limitations of each preference and suggests ways to utilize these differences in a team’s work.

Through reading, discussion, and planning, this 40 minute session that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning will familiarize participants with the conditions and practices that support effective teacher collaboration. This session guides participants in planning for inter-visitations that lead to the collaborative development of teachers’ instructional knowledge and skills in order to effect powerful changes in student learning.

Reflecting on past practice can help teachers gain insight into what was successful and how they can continue to strengthen their practice. In addition, reflecting as a team can serve to deprivatize practice and strengthen a culture of professional learning. This 60-90 minute protocol that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning guides teacher teams through reflecting on their individual growth and next steps and then identifying patterns across their team around areas of growth, areas for continued growth, and what future support- including professional learning opportunities- would be most beneficial. This protocol can serve as a part of or precursor to a formal professional learning needs assessment.

In this activity that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning, participants will examine proven professional learning strategies that provide differentiated opportunities for teacher learning and leadership and identify ways to apply those strategies to their school.

Through a protocol and discussion, the following 40 minute activity that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning will help participants identify how the Danielson Framework for Teaching can be integrated in the professional learning plan.

In this 40 minute activity that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning, participants examine resources that they may use to integrate the Danielson Framework for Teaching in the professional learning plan.

In this session that accompanies the Handbook for Professional Learning, teacher teams will reflect on the extent to which previous professional learning opportunities have impacted their professional practice. They will then analyze sample professional learning cycles to see how an arc of learning sessions can create coherence between the goals and outcomes. They will also identify ways in which each session can be linked to teacher practice and student outcomes. Participants will then work together to determine next steps when planning their next round of professional learning.