Principles of Best Practice for Professional Development
Professional development for educators is essential to the viability and growth of our schools. It is incumbent upon each member school to embrace professional development and set the highest goals and standards. To this end, the NYSAIS Professional Development Committee sets forth the following principles for schools to consider as they establish their own professional development programs, with the understanding this is a process affected by budget considerations.
A school with a strong professional development program supports faculty and staff in their desire to improve their effectiveness and skills by providing appropriate resources, mentoring, and evaluation. The head of school and the upper level administrators set the example of professional development through participation in activities, workshops, and conference opportunities.
A school with a strong Professional Development Program:
- Applies 1% or more of its operating budget to professional development activities.
- Designates a professional development liaison to coordinate professional development within the school and with NYSAIS.
- Develops a toolkit that draws on diverse perspectives and scientific research both within and beyond the school community.
- Underwrites technology—hardware, software, and training—for faculty and encourages use of the NYSAIS website.
- Offers unconditional release time to faculty and staff so they can pursue professional development opportunities without having to “pay back” class/coaching/dormitory time.
- Establishes, promotes, and supports professional development reading through subscribing to professional journals and maintaining a professional development library.
- Promotes opportunities for summer professional development through grants, travel funds, books, online course work, etc.
- Uses the NYSAIS accreditation process (self-study creation, the committee visit, and the visiting committee report, etc.) to promote professional learning.
- Incorporates orientation programs for new faculty and staff at the beginning of each year, and encourages participation in special programs for beginning teachers (such as NYSAIS’ BTI).
- Makes a commitment to assist veteran faculty/administrators mentoring new faculty/administrators.
- Includes professional development in the review of faculty and staff performance.