Professional Learning & Support - Challenge Map
Challenge Map

Professional Learning & Support

Recruiting, training, supporting, and retaining high-quality educators

Districts are responsible for recruiting high-quality teachers and other staff, which can be difficult due to the overall lack of sufficient funding and demanding certification requirements in many states. Once they recruit educators, districts must provide the training and support they need to be successful in their roles. It can be challenging to provide personalized support aligned with the needs of individual teachers, and to get staff on board with new professional learning models. Explore the challenges related to Professional Learning & Support -- Teacher Recruitment & Retention, Instructional Leadership & Coaching, Personalized Professional Learning, and Teacher Collaboration -- below.

Teacher Recruitment & Retention

Districts want to hire effective teachers. But the generally lower pay and prestige compared to other professions means that fewer graduates are considering teaching, and teachers are spending less of their careers in the classroom. It can be particularly challenging for districts to recruit candidates whose backgrounds are representative of their student population, and those with specific subject area or pedagogical expertise (e.g. STEM or special education). How can districts best recruit and retain high-quality teachers?

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Instructional Leadership & Coaching

Teachers need support in their everyday work with students, but some principals and school-level leaders do not have the time, skills, or relevant experience to provide high-quality instructional support. Instructional coaching is a research-based solution that is growing in popularity, but barriers such as budgeting, staffing, scheduling, and a lack of clear models/best practices make it challenging to effectively implement. How can districts provide educators with instructional leadership at scale?

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Personalized Professional Learning

Traditional teacher professional development (PD) offerings – such as lecture presentations on centrally selected topics – do not meet the needs of all educators. But is challenging for districts to provide personalized PD for educators based on their skill and experience level, the subjects and grades they teach, and the individual needs of their students. How can districts implement and build buy-in around high-quality personalized professional learning?

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Educator Collaboration

Classroom teachers and other school staff need time to collaborate with their colleagues to best address their students’ needs, build useful connections, and find overlap in content and teaching approaches. But it can be difficult for schools to allocate time for teachers to get together, whether for co-teaching, common planning time, or Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). How can schools facilitate meaningful collaboration between educators?

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