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Just as there is an art to effective classroom instruction, there is a related but specialized art to building a good staff development program. Stenhouse books and videos are most effective when used as part of a sustained PD course of study. Whether you are an experienced staff developer, an administrator, or a beginning literacy coach, you'll find a number of useful resources in this section of our website.
General PD Principles
In her book, Learning Along the Way, Diane Sweeney writes, "Adult learning is too often reduced to pulling together hundreds of teachers to listen to an expert pontificate on a given subject." Sweeney provides an excellent model for "learner centered" PD programs in the first chapter of the book, during which she walks readers through the vision building, implementation, and sustainment stages.
Getting Started with Study Groups
In her book, Becoming a Literacy Leader, Jen Allen describes how most PD programs in schools are designed to meet federal mandates, state requirements, or district goals. The individual learning goals of teachers often get lost in the mix. As a literacy specialist, Jen has taken the initiative to solicit suggestions from teachers for the literacy topics they want to explore and then to create voluntary study groups focused on those topics. Jen now offers five study groups a year with 25 out of 28 teachers in her school participating. You can see Jen in action with one of her study groups in the video Teacher Study Groups.
>>Check out clips and the viewing guide for Teacher Study Groups
For staff developers new to organizing and running study groups -- or those looking for suggestions for professional books and videos to study -- Stenhouse offers a range of free facilitation guides. These guides have been written by our authors and have been tested successfully in K-12 schools throughout the country. We offer two types of PD Resources: Study Guides and Read, Share, Teach Facilitation Guides. Both sets of resources are free, downloadable PDF files available from our website. Our study guides provide ideas and activities for running a book study group on specific Stenhouse titles. The guides can also help you decide which books work best for you and your colleagues.
>>Click here to see a list of the study guides currently available for FREE online.
The Read, Share, Teach (RST) Facilitation Guides provide groups of educators with the structure and tools for running their own study groups focused on various Stenhouse books and related DVDs. They are an excellent resource for beginning coaches because they offer a well-developed program for running study groups with teachers over several weeks.
>>Click here to see a list of the RST Facilitation Guides available for FREE online.
There are as many nuances to coaching as there are to classroom teaching. In Responsive Literacy Coaching, Cheryl Dozier defines the role of the coach and lays out a blueprint for fruitful teacher/coach collaborations. In Chapter 8 of the book, she fields a wide-range of logistical questions that every coach struggles withï -- from planning meetings and workshops to scheduling, room design, and grouping of teachers.
>>Read "Frequently Asked Questions about Coaching," from Responsive Literacy Coaching
Few roles are as challenging or as rewarding for coaches and mentors as helping beginning teachers find their footing in the classroom and in the school as a whole. Stenhouse provides a series of books and videos aimed at supporting beginning teachers as they acclimate themselves to the job.
>>Check out clips and the viewing guide from the Mentoring video
>>Check out clips and the viewing guide from the Mentoring Across Boundaries video
Once you've developed good PD programs for your staff, how do you sustain them? In Synchronizing Success, literacy specialist Maren Koepf explains the importance of "continued, embedded" PDï¿½and tells the story of how she and her colleagues accomplished that at Moreland Hills Elementary School.
>>Read "Continuous Professional Development" from Synchronizing Success