by Dr. Christina M. Macalino

“Summer…Summer…Summertime! Time to sit back and Unwind” – DJ Jazzy & The Fresh Prince 

What do educators do during their summer breaks? Hopefully relax, re-energize, and rejuvenate to prepare for the upcoming school year. Sometimes that can be the case – perhaps for part of the summer but not the entire summer. For teachers, many reflect unit/lesson plan, and re-up on classroom supplies. As for administrators, we continue to work (many positions are 11-12 month employees), continue to close out the most recent school year, and simultaneously prepare for the upcoming school year. AND… summer plans for some teachers and administrators include training and professional development! 

Training versus Professional Development

In the article Understanding and Addressing Principal Turnover: A Review of the Research (May 2019), it lists the five main reasons why school administrators leave their job – either to pursue a job at another school site/district, to elevate in the ranks (i.e. district-level administration), or to leave the educational profession completely. According to the article, the first reason is due to inadequate preparation and professional development. 

And as Dr. Cervantes mentioned in podcast season 1, episode 12, in the educational world there’s a difference between training and professional development. In education, when you are sent to a training, it is to help you gain knowledge or the skill set to complete a particular task, for example, a training on how to administer mandated (state or district) assessments. Then there is professional development which provides knowledge and skillsets that empower educators to take their craft to the next level and can be applied to almost every role and responsibility the educator is assigned to. An example of professional development is a session on the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and how it can affect student performance and the overall school climate and culture. 

Take a listen to podcast season 1, episode 13 to hear about Elin’s and my summer 2021 professional development experiences. 

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