Conclusions

The core message seems that encouraging openness and periodic reevaluation might make everyone feels invested, thus increasing the effectiveness of professional development.

Possible Implications of This Research

Depending on the topic, a few teachers seem to convey that they are unlikely to apply their training within their instruction, which could affect how they process the training. Whereas most teachers seemed to appreciate the rationale and applicability regarding session subjects, many have communicated the desire to take these topics a step further to individualize lessons. There seems to be nothing in place for continued growth or application once the session is over.

Time also seems like a determining factor in how teachers benefit from staff training, as more often than not, trainers appeared to have to wrap up sessions quickly to adhere to a professional day schedule. The rushing of last points and the inadequate time for reflection suggests a need for a way to reiterate or follow-up on sessions.

Teachers appear to work well together and voluntarily do so outside of the professional development setting. Collaboration with one another during these trainings is infrequent compared to the amount that the session leader is speaking. Teachers have expressed a desire to share information about their experiences with the topic. When this opportunity is not built into the training meetings, side conversations about the topic sometimes ensue among teachers.

Furthermore, active correspondence with the trainer appears faint among the entire group with the same few people volunteering. While this is not to say that the rest of the staff is unengaged in the session, it does bring the level of engagement into question. Adding to this is the observation that a few teachers requested answers from their peers on a culminating session assessment, their perceived receptiveness to the training may be skewed to the session leaders. Although the effect of professional development on teachers is also measured through formal classroom observation, my inability to observe this prevents me from confirming or denying any impact. Ultimately, this data calls for a reevaluation the present professional development format.