Essential Element 7 – Professional learning


Professional learning and staff development for all staff that are ongoing, planned, purposeful, and collaboratively developed.


Every young adolescent deserves an educational setting that values continuous improvement and ongoing professional learning.


Teachers, administrators, and other school staff in a standards-focused middle-level school or program need regular, planned opportunities for professional and intellectual growth.  Schools with middle-level grades need to be professional learning communities.


Teachers, administrators, and staff need to:


7.1       Know the needs and characteristics of students in the middle grades and the instructional strategies and techniques that work best for these students.

7.2       Understand the philosophy and mission of the standards-driven middle-level school.

7.3       Understand and implement the Regents Policy Statement on Middle-Level Education and the Essential Elements of Standards-Focused Middle-Level Schools and Programs.

7.4       Have high expectations for all students.

7.5       Be familiar with each of the State’s 28 learning standards and incorporate in their own classrooms and work spaces educational experiences that help all students achieve all the standards – including those that are outside their own area of content expertise.

7.6       Know and understand their subject matter and course curriculum thoroughly.

7.7       Know and understand the State’s assessment system.

7.8       Know and understand how to use data to make curricular and instructional decisions to improve students’ academic performance and/or enhance personal development.

7.9       Collaborate and cooperate in planning and providing professional learning opportunities.

7.10    Routinely and systematically monitor and evaluate student learning to assess and improve instructional effectiveness.

 Resources and Best Practices for Essential Element 7

Summer Constructivist Conference for Teachers
Teacher Study Groups
Teacher to Teacher Project Share
Using Team Meetings for Staff Development
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