Break the Cycle: Teachers are Key

At Atomic Learning, we work with schools and districts across the country and around the globe on a daily basis, and, even though the populations of these schools are very unique and the initiatives and programs vary, we hear many of the same challenges on everything from student engagement and instructional practices to utilizing technology and ensuring safe learning environments.

Ultimately, these challenges all center around ensuring student success, and on a national level there are some sobering realities:

  • Half of students are disengaged1. This is one of the factors that leads to an average of 5,000 students dropping out of school each day2.  While the number has declined in recent years, it's still a staggering and unacceptable rate.
  • When a school loses a student, there is a financial impact. On average, schools lose over $12,000 of funding per lost student3.  
  • Recognizing that teachers are key to reducing this cycle, consider this: Typical professional development has a real cost of $6,000-12,000 per year, per teacher4.  However, most teacher PD only has a 10% transfer rate into instructional practice5.  That means that not only is PD costly and time-intensive, but isn’t doing what it needs to in order to impact students.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to help break this cycle.

The key to effective and impactful change? Teachers.

By shifting the way that teachers participate in professional development, a profound change can occur in the classroom.  Outcome-based, embedded professional development increases the transfer rate to 95%, and should directly impact student engagement and retention.  

This type of shift in the approach to PD also directly aligns with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) new definition of PD – that it must be “sustained (not stand-alone, 1-day and short-term workshops), intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, classroom-focused”.

Ready to make the shift?

At Atomic Learning, we are committed to help reshape the way we support students, teachers and staff. For the past two years, we have devoted resources and energy into shaping a path for schools to break this cycle, and have developed the hoonuit online learning framework:
 

LearnIt. Learn from Best Practices
DoIt. Apply your Learning
ShareIt. Collect and Get Feedback
ProveIt. Document your Progress

 

The Atomic Learning team is hard at work building out upcoming learning resources to follow this exact model, which is designed to:

  • Reach teachers and students where they are at, in their moment of need
  • Leverage outcome-based learning to ensure teachers and students learn what they need
  • Provide activities to allow users to apply learning to their life/classroom
  • Encourage learners to connect, get feedback, and learn from others
  • Offer a way for teachers, staff, and students to document learning

It is the entire learning package. You may be wondering... How does this framework address a school district’s core needs?  Some examples, include:

  • Providing individualized, self-paced learning around critical topics
  • Facilitating a flipped PLC model
  • Creating opportunities for flipped workshops
  • Mapping to key initiatives
  • Tying into CEU/PLU documentation
  • Aligning to classroom observations
  • Ultimately, directly integrating learning into the classroom by applying the DoIt.

We are committed to making a positive impact on student success by helping our users break the cycle. Who's with us?
 

Sources:
1 http://edsource.org/2015/survey-most-high-school-students-feel-unprepared-for-college-careers/83752
2 http://all4ed.org/issues/economic-impacts/
3 http://www2.census.gov/govs/school/13f33pub.pdf
4 http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/11/10/11pd_costs.h30.html?qs=Cost+of+Teacher+Training
5 http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Staffingstudents/Teaching-the-Teachers-Effective-Professional-Development-in-an-Era-of-High-Stakes-Accountability/Teaching-the-Teachers-Full-Report.pdf
 

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