Professional teachers enjoy spending time with their students, and are committed to helping each one learn.
Professional teachers spend time on their own professional development, reading books and journals, observing students, reflecting on their lessons, talking with other teachers, and attending local and national workshops and conferences.
Students are an important resource for professional development. Observing their responses to lessons and talking with them about their learning helps teachers improve instruction.
Taking active roles in professional organizations is another valuable form of professional development.
Administrative support for professional development enhances teacher growth and supports student learning.
Over-emphasis on preparing students for mandated state testing can distract educators from issues related to student learning and professional growth.
Many teachers find collegial support groups—where they can share ideas about what they are doing in their classrooms—an important part of their professional development.
Experimentation with new pedagogies followed by reflection on their effectiveness is an important form of professional growth. A teaching journal and video- or audiotaping are two ways to support such reflection.
Mentors—experienced teachers—can be particularly helpful to those new to the profession.
National conferences, in particular, expose teachers to new ideas, new possibilities, and new authors.
Planning in envisionment-building classrooms centers on the activities students will be involved in and the kinds of thinking those activities engender.
Planning needs to be flexible in order to respond to student needs and yet focused on the major ideas that will keep students engaged and forge the links between and among texts.