Classroom practitioners have long been subjected to ineffective in-service sessions, which are often “district-mandated,” and which are, all too often, rated as not very worthwhile by the participants. As the organizational representatives of teachers and paraprofessional, the AFT has constructed a professional development program that is meant to be an ongoing process, rather than an in-service event. In addition to providing credible, research-based information that is essential to our members as they carry out their professional responsibilities, the ER&D program is committed to:
- offering a non-threatening, non judgmental learning environment:
- providing opportunities for thoughtful discussion about teaching and learning with colleagues and researchers;
- providing opportunities for self-reflection and collegial inquiry;
- making a process available that allows for individual understanding and implementation of strategies that result in real change of practice;
- providing opportunities for professional growth, continuous learning, and validation of existing practice; and,
- offering a program that builds a sense of pride in the quality of a union service.