Professional Development Plan
Ruth R. Bird
Instructor: Jody Fernandez
October 31, 2011

Professional Development Plan Introduction
One effective strategy for teachers when setting professional development goals is to set ?SMART? goals. ?SMART? stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Designing goals around these concepts and measuring the goals through these qualifications makes them practical. SMART goals are the backbone of any teacher?s professional development plan. (Kansas, 2008)
When teachers are working hard to achieve their highest potential, their students will benefit directly. A teacher?s goals may refer to development in specific areas related to student instruction such as mindset, learning environment, curriculum, assessment, student readiness, student interest, student learning profile and management of a differentiated classroom. These goals are designed to be achieved so, overall, goal setting and professional development for teachers is directly related to the best interest for each student.
Goals for Mindset, Learning Environment and Differentiation
First, I will enhance my abilities in educating students in order to improve student learning by obtaining my dual Master Degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Second, I will improve my teaching skills in order to better assist special needs students by staying current with new educational practices through professional development in-services, workshops, and training sessions.
Goals for Curriculum and Differentiation
First, I will promote collaboration among staff members to better align our curriculum by leading professional committees targeting long-range planning for services to special needs students and families. Second, I will be prepared and knowledgeable of the content and effectively maintain student?s on-task behavior.
Goals for Assessment and Differentiation
First, I will enhance my skills in administering and collecting assessment data to appropriately plan interventions, to improve student learning, and to identify special needs students by attending workshops and seminars on educational strategies, assessment tools, and eligibility requirements. Second, I will use a variety of assessments to monitor and manage student learning.
Goals for Student Readiness and Differentiation
First, I will investigate intervention strategies to incorporate Response to Intervention (RTI) processes into my classroom in order to better differentiate student instruction by participating in in-services and district workshops. Second, I will build relationships and connections with families and listen to their ideas on how to help their children be successful in school.
Goals for Student Interest and Differentiation
First, I will learn how to use new technology (for example, SMART boards, digital cameras, etc.) in order to incorporate classroom technology into my instructional practices to enhance student learning. Second, students will actively participate and be successful in the learning process.
Goals for Student Learning Profile and Differentiation
First, I will acquire knowledge needed to collect data, develop materials, and put into place individualized learning/behavior plans that are appropriate for individual autistic children by working with the school system autism specialist and by attending autism workshops. Second, I will help students understand modes of learning that work best for them and plan activities using those options so each student will be successful.
Goals for Managing a Differentiated Classroom
First, I will become familiar with new legislation, state regulations, and forms for special education in order to effectively maintain compliance with state and federal regulations. Second, I will create and implement a classroom management plan that includes procedures and consequences that are doable and measurable.
Identification of Obstacles
One obstacle in goal setting is that it is not always easy to set clear and productive goals. The failure to set clear goals will result in an unsuccessful learning environment for the teacher and the students. Sometimes, situations change so goals need to be changed and people do not always remember to do this as the need arises, they instead, will often only review and update their goals annually.
Another obstacle in goal setting is the failure to set reasonable goals. Well-meaning efforts will fail because of goals that have unrealistic expectations of the teacher and/or the students. Teachers must set goals that they will be committed and devoted to. If a teacher tries to pursue goals that they have no chance of achieving, they are likely to become disheartened and will not want to work toward meeting other goals.
A third obstacle is setting appropriate time-frame to achieve all of the goals that are set. Teachers need to realize that some goals are relatively easy to achieve and will be good to set as a short-term goal, but others will require more patience and should be set as a long-term goal. Once the appropriate time-frame for achieving goals is