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Educator-to-Educator Professional Development
April 30, 2021
If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.
-Eleanor Roosevelt
Mary Muhs, in an article that forms the basis for a new Exchange Reflections “Educator-to-Educator Professional Development,” writes about the great benefits of involving educators in providing staff development to their peers. She explains:

“You wear many hats every day. You wear the hat of a leader, director, manager, accountant, human resource professional, counselor, advocate, chef, housekeeper, cheerleader, model, repairperson, salesperson and many others. You are also an educator of educators. Yet, while all these roles can pose their own unique challenges, incorporating professional development opportunities into an early childhood program is often one of the biggest challenges. Because each educator in your program is unique and brings to the table their own education, experience, morals, values and expectations, you have your work cut out for you. How can you help each one of the educators in your program meet requirements, challenge themselves, and ultimately fulfill their own potential?...

Instead of relying on all professional development to be delivered by the administration or outside resources, developing an internal process for educators to teach their peers may provide much more than a time-saving solution for administrators. It may also provide empowerment, validation and leadership opportunities for those educators looking to share their experiences with their peers.

An educator-to-educator professional development model can create:

  • community of practice where open and creative communication and learning can take place across age groups and programs;
  • a culture of ethical and respectful inquiry with educators seeking best practices;
  • a collaborative team of educators working together to create the best environment for children to grow and thrive;
  • an opportunity for educators to develop an identity beyond their immediate position, so that their experience is valued and celebrated through sharing with others; and
  • an internal leadership development system in which educators can lead from wherever they are, and whichever position they currently hold. Leadership is more than position.
(Note: this strategy could also work for college instructors who may want to empower students to occasionally provide professional development for each other.)

The Exchange Reflections will give staffs (or college classes) a way to think together about ways to make an educator-to-educator professional development model work for them.

 
 




Exchange Reflections

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Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a Making Commitments idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.

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Comments (2)

Displaying All 2 Comments
Tiffany Peckham · May 03, 2021
Dimensions
Lincoln, NE, United States


Thank you for sharing!

-Tiffany at Exchange

Missy Brown · April 30, 2021
CCR&R at John A Logan College
Carterville, Illinois, United States


Mary Muhs I LOVE this so much! I will be sharing with all my networks in a variety of ways.

Thank you for putting this together.



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