It may seem premature to think about Back-to-School 2024 when we’re only in February. But at Learning.com, we’re always planning ahead. We’ve been preparing for the new Technology Applications TEKS (TA-TEKS) for the last couple of years, and we’re looking forward to working with our Texas partner districts on professional development planning as they gear up to implement these new standards. We’re going to be working very closely to help them be successful.
One of the ways we’re looking to work with our partners is to help them plan their professional development and training strategy for the year, whether in-district or via other modalities. Professional development hours are always difficult to come by, especially with competing priorities. However, to achieve success, it will be imperative that educators feel supported and confident when implementing these new, very different, mandated standards. While we’re thinking about the TA-TEKS this year, the information below can be used with just about any type of training plan for educators.
Before any other professional development planning can begin, it’s important to first establish goals for your district. This may seem obvious, but taking a few extra minutes to articulate precisely what you want to achieve – what success looks like for your district – and setting reasonable expectations to get there will save time and headaches later. Ask yourself:
- Are we adequately prepared for this transition?
- What does success look like in the context of these new standards?
- What steps are necessary in year one and beyond to achieve our objectives?
Once goals are set, it’s time to strategize implementation. Consider how your district plans to introduce the new standards and associated resources. Some questions to ask yourself:
- Who will be using the curriculum, and in what capacity?
- How can hands-on learning opportunities be integrated?
- What delivery format best suits our educators’ learning styles?
- What is our plan to provide ongoing development for educators? How can we continue to build educator capacity?
Finding time for comprehensive professional development is always a challenge. By aligning goals and implementation strategies, you can better gauge the time and resources needed. Consider these when developing your professional development plan:
- How much dedicated time is required for effective training?
- Can training be delivered both synchronously and asynchronously?
Support from administrators is crucial for the success of any implementation. Ensure that campus and district leaders are equipped to provide the necessary guidance and encouragement. Ask yourself:
- Do we have campus administrators who are willing to help support the implementation? If not, are campus leaders willing to designate campus ambassadors who can help?
- Can campus administrators or school ambassadors provide training to our educators?
- Have we included training for ourselves so that we feel confident supporting the implementation?
At Learning.com, we’re committed to empowering districts as they navigate these new standards. We’re happy to meet with our partner districts to help them plan out their training and PD as they get ready to embark on a new journey with Tech Apps.
Looking for some other tips on how to use your professional development time? Check out our blog!