Teacher-driven professional development is when instructional leaders give teachers the opportunity to self-assess and self-reflect making professional development more useful and meaningful. Teachers buy-in is a critical first step in the process. In order to get teachers on board, they need a voice in the process. Then, teachers are assigned to professional learning groups based on the priority area of growth. It is important for administrators to encourage teachers to develop their own practices for assessing what they have learned. When teachers have a say not only in the overall PD but also in specific growth areas, they will be more engaged.
SLCA teachers have developed and implemented a teacher-driven professional development program. The SLCA IT support team utilizes a virtual classroom experience to effectively teach the students by using a light desk setup/green screen (virtual lesson), OBS studios (virtual lesson), Ugee Pen (interactive lesson), and Qustodio (internet student security control). The school also uses Classdojo and Jamboard to facilitate student behavior management and a communication tool for parents. Teachers have facilitated core supplementary materials, such as RazKids (higher level reading skills), Epic Books (reading fluency), Zearn (interactive for special needs students), and Quizizz (to aid students for quizzes and tests). The faculty further has received ongoing training in social and emotional learning (SEL) to help students cope and get through the difficult stage of isolation in the home, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.