PERC Professional Development
The PERC Professional Development model is teacher-need driven and embedded in the daily work of participating teachers.
It is deeply respectful of teacher expertise about their own students and teaching contexts, treating all teachers as professionals who are seeking to improve their practice by implementing a new instructional model. The PERC PD model includes a variety of experiences targeting teacher growth during the summer and academic year.
Introducing Teachers to PERC
For teachers, the PERC Professional Development experience begins with visits to PERC and TAS classrooms and meetings with current PERC teachers and TASs during the spring before joining the program, either within their own school or in another PERC school. A professional development team member facilitates these visits, focusing on the structure of the PERC class and the roles of the TAS in the PERC program. New PERC teachers are also included in spring PERC professional development meetings, enabling them to begin to join the PERC community and build understanding about the model through interactions with current PERC teachers.
PD during PERC Summer School
The PERC Summer School serves as a professional develop laboratory for new and continuing PERC teachers, as well as the Teaching Assistant Scholars and pre-service teachers who support the PERC and TAS Pipeline classes. Summer School days consist of morning class preparation time, PERC Class, TAS Time in which TASs work with students on practice exam questions, and afternoon professional development workshops. The entire day serves as professional development for new and continuing teachers. During morning preparation time, the teachers gain experience in collaborating with and mentoring TAS students. The PERC Class and TAS Time develop the teachers’ expertise in implementing the PERC model and supervising TAS students’ support of their students. The afternoon PD workshops provide the teachers and TASs with specific skills to use during the summer and the academic year. Novice PERC teachers end the summer believing in the effectiveness of the model and having the skills necessary to begin teaching PERC and TAS classes at their base schools. PERC Lead teachers return to their schools having developed deeper understanding of PERC through their mentoring of novice PERC teachers.
During their first year in the PERC Program, teachers receive weekly mentoring from a member of the PD staff or a college faculty member involved in the PERC Program. These sessions involve PERC and TAS class observations and meetings between the teacher and the mentor. The mentoring meetings target the teachers at their current developmental level, supporting the teachers’ self-reflection and planning for continuous improvement. The mentors review PERC and TAS curriculum with the teachers and set goals for implementation. During their second year, PERC teachers transition to biweekly mentoring sessions and begin to take leadership positions in the Program. Experienced PERC teachers mentor novice PERC teachers and lead PERC teacher inquiry teams within and across PERC schools.
PERC Community PD Meetings
Six times per year, the PERC community gathers to share successes and challenges, developing the skills of participating teachers and collaborating on continuous program improvement. PD meeting workshops focus on the TAS curriculum and ways of working with TAS students to implement the PERC model. Workshops also include an emphasis on implementing Common Core and NGSS standards in PERC classes. Experienced PERC teachers lead most of these workshops with all teachers having the opportunity to contribute.
PD through teaching TAS Class and leading the TAS team
The TAS Class itself has emerged as a professional development experience for PERC teachers; by teaching pedagogy to the TAS, the teachers develop a deeper understanding of their own practice. Teachers also articulate the value and challenge of having daily feedback from the TAS about their lesson plans and teaching, they feel that the TASs hold them accountable for the quality of their planning and instruction.