Dayna Laur, a teacher at Central York and
an authority on technology in the classroom,
says districts should collaborate on professional
development to share costs, generate savings
and reach more teachers.
Unfortunately, with these needs also comes a high price tag in order to equip a staff of teachers well trained to provide these prospects to students. In an economy suffering from the effects of a recession, it has become increasingly difficult to provide teachers with these opportunities. It is imperative that districts work together in order to find viable solutions to this stark reality.
York County school districts have been afforded top-quality teachers. However, veteran teachers and those newest to the profession require ongoing professional development in order to provide our students with the best opportunities for enhancing their 21st-century skills. As the technology changes and opens a wide variety of prospects for student and teacher collaboration on a global scale, teachers must be made aware of how to employ these innovative and engaging techniques in the curriculum.
In order to make this professional development economically feasible and equitable across districts, it is time for all districts across the county to work collaboratively to provide professional development opportunities. Sharing the costs and resources will offer districts the ability to grant teachers continuing education in a “train-the-trainer” model. Each district would provide several teachers for a countywide training and, in turn, the teachers would return to their respective districts to provide on-site training for their staffs. In doing so, costs would be diminished and trainings would be extended to reach more teachers across York County.
While it may be impossible to overcome the disparity in local tax dollars that are allotted to each district, through the use of this model, districts would be in a position to decrease professional development expenditures, while increasing professional development opportunities.
Dayna Laur is a 13-year veteran social studies teacher at Central York High School and is a National Faculty Member for the Buck Institute for Education. She has her National Board Certification, a bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia Tech, a Master of Arts degree in education in curriculum and instruction from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Science degree in 21st-century teaching and learning from Wilkes University.Over the past four years, she has worked closely with the Classrooms for the Future initiative in Pennsylvania, presenting to teachers, instructional technology coaches, administrators, and higher education faculty members on ways in integrate project-based learning in a technology-rich classroom environment. She has been featured as the model teacher for Authentic Based Classroom Instruction as produced by the National Institute for Professional Practice and as a model teacher for the Schools that Work Series as produced by Edutopia.