Environmental Scan Measures

Prior to meeting with my mentor, I conducted research on the private school in which I was to implement my work by looking up information online to fill out the profile sheet I made. In addition to asking my mentor about information that I could not find, I sat in on two professional development workshops over the summer in order to acclimate myself to the environment, and acclimate the staff to my presence.


Once my formal observations began, I recorded them in a chart in an effort to maintain focus on visible evidence without evaluating the actual training. While this approach may have strengthened the validity of my observations, I had to modify my use of the chart in later sessions because I did not have enough room to write in some areas, and I had more room in others. This made my notes difficult to interpret. If I were to do this again in the future, I would request being able to type my notes into a document on a portable device during the session (assuming it would not distract anyone).


In addition to the brief evaluation forms administered by the presenter at the end of the teacher training, I handed out and received back several surveys. These surveys were useful in helping to determine the participants reaction to each session.



These were more difficult to arrange than I initially thought because of the teachers’ work schedules and the legal limitations brought out by the school’s special needs population.


As a research, I was an opportunist. Before, during and after sessions, for instance, I would note teacher’s verbal responses to what they were doing and, if it didn’t interrupt the flow of the session, I would probe a little more to find out what they meant. Because these informal interviews were so in the moment and relevant to teachers seemed more eager and responsive when it came to sharing their insight.


To gain further insight about the professional development process, I sat down with the staff developer for over an hour to ask her the same questions that I did of the teachers; however, more elements of the process arose that helped me gather a clearer understanding of how teacher training is conducted in this environment.