The teacher shortage is creating a troubling trend surrounding teacher PD and other professional development needs.

How to use micro-coaching for teacher PD


The teacher shortage is creating a troubling trend surrounding professional development

The United States is experiencing a national education shortage of teachers leaving the profession in droves, coined “The Great Resignation” due to high anxiety, burnout, safety concerns, low salaries, and challenging job demands. This shortage is further fueled by plummeting enrollment in teacher preparation programs.

The Wall Street Journal reported that at least 300,000 public school teachers and other staff left the field alone between February 2020 and May 2022. Recent McKinsey research shows that nearly one-third of U.S. K-12 educators are considering leaving their jobs.

While this situation creates immediate problems for schools, like hiring qualified teachers from a shrinking pool of candidates, it also creates secondary problems, like the troubling trend that the teacher shortage is creating surrounding professional development (PD).

Carving out time for PD can be extremely difficult for educators, especially when their district cannot offer that time during the school day or as an option for time off. Teachers are also already overwhelmed with their work, so adding one more course or event to their calendars is challenging and sometimes not allowed. Yet, professional learning is critical to increasing student achievement by as much as 21 percentile points.

What is micro-coaching?

Micro-coaching is a workflow model that had its roots in business organizations pre-pandemic and has relevance for professional learning in schools. Micro-coaching is a form of coaching that involves brief, targeted, and focused interactions between a coach and an individual or a group. Micro-coaching aims to provide bite-sized, actionable learning, feedback, and support to help individuals improve specific skills, behaviors, or performance.

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