The purpose of the statewide Department Professional Development Master Plan is to ensure that certified educators who are not employed with a NH school district or participating nonpublic school are prepared to enter a NH classroom, and to provide guidance for pursuing professional growth. Professional growth is the acquisition of additional information or skill related to better enacting one's role as an educator. It consists of such activities as college courses, seminars or workshops, institutes, and independent study and research. The requirements for professional growth activities are intended to expand knowledge of subject or field of specialization, promote quality teaching, improve student learning experiences and increase student achievement, enhance the knowledge of the school and community role in education, and encourage improved technological skills.
Professional development is a critical component in the statewide plan to improve student and educator learning. Professional growth activities of individuals seeking recertification under this Professional Development Master Plan must show evidence of identifying current student learning needs and being connected to the NH Curriculum Frameworks adopted by the State Board of Education. Examples of activities that could be included to reflect this knowledge are to interview a teacher in the community on how student needs have changed; review the learning needs as identified in *NH School District Profile; connect with a local school district regarding assessment; design a lesson or do research on assessment of student learning needs; check the Web site at www.NHEON.org for learning activities connected to Curriculum Frameworks; check the Web site at www.education.nh.gov for current issues in education such as the Curriculum Frameworks listed on the Department Web site are: K-12 English Language Arts, K-12 Mathematics, K-12 Science, K-12 Social Studies, K-12 Arts, K-12 Career Development and K-12 Physical Education. Job-Embedded professional development is the learning that occurs as educators engage in their daily work activities and that results in increased skill and knowledge needed to assist students to reach high standards. It is the documented professional learning that occurs in the course of educator's work. It often includes educators sharing what they have learned, reflecting on specific work experiences to uncover new understanding, and listening to colleagues share best practices while trying out new programs or planning and/or implementing a project. Examples of job-embedded activities could be Curriculum Development, Action Research, Peer Coaching/Mentoring, and Study Groups.
The requirements for recertification of educators who are not employed full time by a school administrative unit, local school district or participating nonpublic school includes the preparation of an Individual Professional Development Plan based on areas identified in Ed 512.05. The individual plan is a method to help the educator focus on setting goals to meet professional growth requirements during the 3-year recertification cycle. This also provides the Bureau of Credentialing a way to provide feedback for those educators who need assistance.
It is a priority of the Department to incorporate how educational data is being used to make decisions. Professional growth activities should show evidence of including educational data to make decisions concerning subject or field of specialization and learners and learning in order to increase student achievement. Continuous improvement and the identification of student learning needs depend on the gathering and analysis of multiple types of academic and non-academic student assessments. The results of some of these assessments can be found through NHEIAP and the NH School District Profile Report.
- *Professional Growth Requirements and NH School District Profile can be found on the NH Department of Education Web site www.education.nh.gov.
The NH Department of Education has established the importance of including the Professional Education Competency Requirements identified in Ed 505.07 (listed below) within the professional growth activities. The educator should identify the areas that may need improvement through self-reflection or peer feedback.
Ed 505.07 Professional Education Requirements. To promote the learning of all students, each professional educator preparation program shall require each graduate of the program to demonstrate evidence of the following:
(a) In the area of the learner and learning:
(1) Learner development, as demonstrated by:
a. An understanding of how learners develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the personal, physical, social, and academic dimensions; and
b. The ability to facilitate developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences based on the unique needs of each learner;
(2) Learning differences, as demonstrated by:
a. An understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities;
b. Ensuring inclusive learning environments that allow each learner to reach his or her full potential; and
c. The ability to employ universal design principles and assistive technology; and
(3) Learning environment, as demonstrated by:
a. Working with learners to create and access learning environments that support self-directed individual and collaborative learning, based on each learner’s interests and passions; and
b. Use of learning environments not limited to the classroom, but extended into the larger community as well as virtual experiences;
(b) In the area of content:
(1) Content knowledge, as demonstrated by:
a. An understanding of the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structure of his or her discipline(s); and
b. An ability to create learning experiences that make the discipline(s) accessible and meaningful for learners; and
(2) Innovative applications of content, as demonstrated by an understanding of how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical and creative thinking and collaborative problem-solving related to authentic local and global issues;
(c) In the area of learning facilitation practice:
(1) Use of assessment, as demonstrated by an understanding and ability to use multiple methods of assessment to:
a. Engage learners in their own growth;
b. Document learner progress;
c. Provide learner feedback; and
d. Inform the educator’s ongoing planning and instructional practices;
(2) Planning for learning facilitation, as demonstrated by an ability, as an active member of a learning community, to draw upon knowledge of content area standards, cross-disciplinary skills, learners, the community, and pedagogy to plan learning experiences that support every learner in meeting rigorous learning goals; and
(3) Learning facilitation strategies, as demonstrated by:
a. An understanding and use of a variety of strategies and tools to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections to other disciplines; and
b. An ability to build skills in accessing, applying, and communicating information; and
(d) In the area of professional responsibility:
(1) Reflection and continuous growth, as demonstrated by:
a. Being a reflective practitioner and using evidence to continually evaluate his or her practice, particularly the effects of choices and actions on students, families, and other professionals in the learning community; and
b. Ability to adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner; and
(2) Collaboration, as demonstrated by:
a. Collaborating, as a member of the larger learning community, with learners, families, colleagues, other professionals, and community members to leverage resources that contribute to student growth and development, learning, and well-being
The Department also encourages the use of Job Embedded professional development activities.
Acceptable examples of professional development activities can include but are not limited to the activities listed below.
- Action Research: Action research is a form of disciplined inquiry that involves educators in a process of selecting a focus, collecting data, analyzing and interpreting the data, and taking action. (e.g.: Demonstrate new skills in a classroom working directly with students. Identify a topic, establish research procedures, collect research and analyze it. This involves reflecting on the results of the research and taking action or making conclusions. Submit verification from Principal.)
- College Course(s): Submit transcript or grade report and a course description. If a course, or online course, is taken for credit, each awarded semester hour of credit equals 15 continuing education units. If you are auditing a course, you will need written verification from the instructor on college letterhead as to topic(s) and continuing education units spent in class.
- Committee: Include short-term and long-term commitments to education-related committee work. Submit verification of membership, purpose and outcomes of committee, dates and times involved.
- Curriculum/Program Development: Submit a copy of the curriculum, or unit of instruction, and an estimate of continuing education units spent in its preparation. You may include your curriculum modifications to address the varied educational needs of students. Include goals, objectives, sample activities, and evaluation strategies.
- Observation: Submit a log of actual hours spent observing activities germane to your certification. Observation time must be verified by staff member(s) observed. The log should be accompanied by an explanation of what was learned and how it will be used.
- Peer Coaching/Mentoring: Cooperative activities between educators that result in increased learning for both parties (e.g.: Implementation instructional practices learned during a professional development activity). Activities in which an experienced educator works with a beginning educator to enhance the beginner's job-related skill, knowledge, and discuss classroom practice. (e.g.: analyze classroom instruction, skills, identify strengths and weaknesses, share resources, and discuss and reflect on instructional practices.). Submit verification from Principal or Teacher Leader regarding dates and times involved and purpose.
- Professional Reading: Submit a bibliography with a description of the knowledge gained through this reading and how this knowledge will be useful to you in an educational area. An estimate of continuing education units spent must also be provided. Video courses or self-teaching activities will be considered under this area.
- Research/Independent Study: Submit topic(s) outline, a written plan of focus and objectives, bibliography, an explanation of how the information will be used in a classroom or curriculum, and evidence of learning. Estimate the continuing education units spent in research.
- Study Groups: Collaborative work or discussion among a small group of educators for the purpose of professional learning. (e.g.: teachers learn new strategies or program content through professional development activities and from study groups to support implementation of the instructional strategy or technique to explore knowledge or an educational topic related to readings, research, and shared reflection). Submit verification from Principal or Group Leader regarding dates and times involved along with objectives, purpose and outcomes of study group.
- Travel: Submit a description of the trip and several classroom activities resulting from your travel experience demonstrating how the activity would be used in the classroom.
- Workshops, Conferences, Seminars, Symposia, In0Service Training, Etc: Please submit dates, explanation of topic, and verification of participation on a certificate or letterhead of the sponsoring organization.
- Writing Professional Articles: Submit a copy of the published article or draft submitted for publication and an estimate of clock hours spent.