Professional Development System at the Watson College of Education
Partners in the Watson College’s Professional Development System work collaboratively to define appropriate and effective preparation needs. Extensive dialogue with colleagues across partnership districts and charter schools affords opportunities to make important connections to learning and teaching. Because we believe that a strong learning community is built upon a model of life-long professional growth, we have made professional development for all partners an integral component of our PDS.
The Professional Development System Office partners with WCE faculty and units across campus to support full day conferences for students, teachers, and administrators across the southeast region of our state. In addition, the PDS Office hosts Professional Learning Days each semester for partnership teachers, site coordinators and university supervisors working with WCE student interns. Professional Learning Days provide a rare opportunity for teachers to engage in extensive dialogue with colleagues across counties and in the university, as well as provide opportunities for ongoing professional growth.
WCE interns take part in site seminars conducted on-site in their placement schools. These seminars are led by Site Coordinators and are Instructional (designed to share information about school processes, culture, and/or general classroom procedures) or Reflective (designed for interns and school personnel to come together to exchange ideas and discuss professional issues). The number of site seminars to be implemented is designated by program areas and requirements are communicated annually to site coordinators via the PDS Office.
Professional Growth Opportunities include WCE professional development workshops for all PDS partners, as well as initial PDS orientations and extended workshops required of PDS Partnership Teachers. Partnership Teachers assigned a WCE teacher intern are provided with materials and online training designed to update and assist them in mentoring their interns through the intern practicum semester. Site principals and site coordinators in schools with a cohort of interns also participate in these professional growth opportunities.