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District Leaders’ Guide for Developing a K-12 Professional Learning Plan

High employee turnover and attrition, coupled with continued student learning concerns, means school teachers and staff need more support than ever. K–12 professional learning is a crucial way for districts to help their employees grow and reach district-wide goals. However, many educators cite a lack of engaging and effective professional development as a top factor in their decision to resign. So, what does a successful professional learning plan look like?

Our 2024 District Leaders’ Guide to Developing A Professional Learning Plan provides K–12 leaders with guidance and strategies to plan high-quality and relevant professional learning with: 

  • 7 steps to develop an effective professional learning plan 
  • Recommendations for supporting novice and veteran teachers 
  • Case studies of other district professional learning plans  
  • Discussion questions to assess and improve your district’s plans

“Ultimately, effective professional development encourages participants to solve problems in their daily work, make positive choices about their professional growth, and contribute to their colleagues’ growth.”

Effective Professional Learning for Teachers and Staff

A high-quality professional learning plan includes an ongoing, coherent sequence of learning opportunities designed to improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of teachers and instructional staff to ultimately enhance student academic outcomes.

A combination of structured and job-embedded learning opportunities allows educators to collaborate with peers, build new skills, increase job satisfaction, and develop a more sophisticated understanding of each other’s teaching practices.  

An effective professional learning plan should: 

  • Include learning goals, actions to be implemented, a timeline, indicators of success, and an evaluation plan 
  • Ensure professional learning is relevant for teachers by differentiating based on content area, grade level, and career pathway 
  • Provide customized activities for novice and veteran teachers that incorporate active learning, collaboration, coaching, mentoring, and opportunities for feedback and reflection 

Hanover’s guide provides recommendations, strategies, case studies, and a discussion guide to inform thoughtful and engaging professional learning plans that will help districts, educators, and students thrive.

Learn how to develop professional learning plans that foster teacher engagement and retention.

Learn how to develop K-12 professional learning plans that foster teacher engagement and retention in your school district.

Help more educators grow professionally

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