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.
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.