Teachers urged to become leaders through professional development
Dr Elizabeth Molina, acting dean of Education Pathway at Broward College in the United States, is urging local teachers to pursue avenues of professional development in order to become effective leaders in their classrooms.
Molina made the recommendation while addressing the Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s 55th annual conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay on Monday.
The three-day conference, which wrapped up on Wednesday, was held under the theme ‘Empowering Educators: Retooling, Innovating and Networking for Sustainable Development’.
“Rather than leadership being held in the office of a principal administrator, impactful leadership resides in the classroom among teachers. This all starts with meaningful, strategic, continuous and quality professional development,” Molina said.
“As educators, we all have a responsibility to ensure that teachers, within their schools, engage in continuous professional learning and apply that learning to increased student achievement,” she added. “Each country needs a clear definition and standards for measuring the quality of professional development occurring within schools to ensure a successful education experience for every single child.”
Molina noted that many teachers operate under a fixed mindset that views abilities and intelligence as unchanging constructs, as opposed to a growth mindset that sees abilities and intelligence being flexible, which makes moulding easier.
“Just as we teach our students to continuously improve, grow, learn and change, so must we as educators,” she told the conference. “It is critical for teachers and administrators to adopt a growth mindset. This is done by focusing on what they find most difficult and then improving that by trying innovative solutions to classroom weaknesses, without being afraid to fail, and by seeking feedback from colleagues and students to better understand their room for growth.”