We all know that one-up, “drive-by” training does not work! Effective training that leads to real change in teacher practice only happens when professional development is engaging, relevant, long-term, and tailored to teacher needs.
Keys to Literacy professional development provides the kinds of learning experiences that have the greatest impact on teachers’ knowledge, practice, and ultimately student learning. We draw from the research consensus that professional development should:
- be sustained over a period of time
- be school-wide and part of school reform plans
- include peer-coaching
- focus on teacher instruction and practice
- provide opportunities for peer collaboration and observation
- be supported and reinforced by leadership
Learn more about the research on effective professional development.
Components of the Keys to Literacy PD Model
When you choose to bring Keys to Literacy instructional routines into your school or district, we will help you build a professional development plan that includes the four components shown in the graphic organizer below. Your plan will combine initial training for teachers, administrators, and building-based coaches with long-term professional development to support implementation of Keys to Literacy instructional practices.
The Importance of Coaching
A key factor in long-term sustainability for Keys to Literacy routines is the training of building-based peer coaches. Peer coaches can come from the ranks of classrooms teachers, mentor or master teachers, or individuals who are already in an instructional or literacy coach role. Peer coaches are an essential element of our “I, We, You” model where Keys to Literacy gradually release responsibility for long-term coaching from Keys to Literacy trainers to building-based educators.
PD for Administrators
KTL strongly recommends that district and building leaders attend a KTL administrator workshop so they can understand what their teachers are learning and how to recognize classroom use. They also learn how to support on-going, building-wide implementation of KTL instructional practices.
Initial Training for Teachers
During initial training, participants learn the teaching practices that make up KTL comprehension, vocabulary, and writing instructional routines. Each teaching strategy is modeled and classroom examples are provided. Teachers practice developing activities and lessons using their own content curriculum reading and materials so they can start using the strategies right away.
Follow Up PD for Teachers
After initial training, follow up professional development is vital to the successful adoption of KTL instructional practices. KTL trainers deliver follow up onsite or online, by the hour or by the day. Follow up activities can include review workshops, classroom observations or modeling, lesson planning, teacher coaching, and facilitating PLC meetings or small-group share sessions. Follow up support is gradually released from the KTL trainer to building-based peer coaches.
PD for Building Coaches
A key element of the KTL PD model is training building-based peer coaches. Participants in coach training learn peer coaching techniques and strategies for supporting long-term KTL implementation. They also learn how to apply KTL instructional practices to all subjects so they can be a resource as teachers incorporate these practices in their daily instruction.
Consultation and Coaching Services
Keys to Literacy recognizes that in order for our instructional practices to take hold, they must be embedded into existing curriculum and aligned to related school and district initiatives. In addition to providing training and follow-up to teachers for the specific instructional practices in our routines, Keys to Literacy trainers are available to provide broader literacy consulting and coaching to support long-term Keys to Literacy implementation.
Here are some examples of coaching and consultation topics we can provide at the building or district level:
- Advise, develop, and modify professional development plans with administrators
- Make KTL connections to existing school or district initiatives (e.g., Common Core standards, RtI or MTSS, building or teacher PD plans)
- Provide literacy resources
- Offer expert opinion related to literacy instruction
- Provide individual coaching to teachers related to KTL instructional practices
- Assess issues, define actions, and set priorities for teachers to create a classroom environment that supports KTL implementation
- Modeling good teaching practice while demonstrating KTL instructional strategies