At a Glance
Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI) offers professional development in-services that meet the needs of its diverse staff and give teachers voice and choice in their own learning.
LCTI developed in-service options that address the wide-range of its instructors’ strengths and needs to help ensure professional development is relevant and valuable for all of them. Almost half of the LCTI staff have five years of teaching experience or less. Given this dynamic, a team of teachers and administrators charged with developing in-services sought to provide the necessary professional development for new teachers while still providing meaningful opportunities for veteran teachers in their professional growth. To achieve this, the team created a conference style in-service day during which teachers could choose to attend the sessions that best fit their needs.
For the differentiated and personalized in-service conference day, the team created a list of sessions that included outside presenters, off-site visits, and online trainings. Instructors signed up for sessions through an online scheduling platform. This allowed the team to track and manage numbers and to provide presenters with expected attendance numbers prior to their sessions. On the day of the in-service, teachers received a sign in sheet to document their hours. They later submitted the sheets to their supervisors for Act 48 approval.
The organizing team utilized the expertise at LCTI to make the in-service days a success. Diverse voices brought ideas to the table about what would be effective sessions to offer staff members. The team also thought outside the box. One of the most well received sessions from the March in-service was Improv for Educators.
During the 2018-2019 school year, LCTI held three conference style in-service days, two in August and one in March. The March in-service day took place at LCTI. The August in-services were offered both on-site and at off-site locations including industry and college visits.
LCTI anticipates offering the conference style professional development for most of its in-services. The staff has conveyed their appreciation for the differentiated format versus the large group, mass lecture professional development sessions. The staff also enjoyed the “voice and choice” they had to choose the sessions that best suited their needs. LCTI will continue to seek new presenters as well as other off-site visits for our staff members.
Teachers felt empowered by being trusted to know what was best for their own professional growth. This type of in-service gives teachers the “feel” of going to a conference, which LCTI cannot offer every year with the amount of staff it employs. The August in-service, at which teachers had the opportunity to visit industry partners and local colleges, fostered a connection to the community LCTI serves.