Professional Development For High School Students

Bringing Students Into Professional Development

The evolution of professional development is under progress. Schools and other organisations are making efforts to move away from the traditional “sit-and-get” workshop model and toward the creation of new forms that encourage problem solving and improve participant engagement. This shift is taking place slowly but definitely. As a result, there has been a boom in professional development, which has transformed educators into the primary agents of innovation.

This trend is quite exciting.

The issue is that participants are not given the opportunity to involve their students in the process, thus they are compelled to make a great deal of assumptions about the pupils in their charge.

The proliferation of design thinking and other approaches to problem-solving has been really exciting for me to observe in my role as a facilitator and creator of professional development. However, in order for participants to make the most of their time during the workshop, it has been difficult to discover methods that accurately capture the voices of students. Too frequently, we find ourselves in the position of having to ask participants to speculate as to how their kids may feel about a topic, how they may approach a challenge, etc., when it would be much simpler to simply ask the students themselves.


It may not be usual practise to capture student voice in professional learning settings due to the fact that it is not always convenient to do so; however, this is beginning to change. Although it can involve a little bit more planning, the benefits make the extra work more than worthwhile.

Providing teachers with sufficient lead time to collect student feedback is the aspect of planning for student voice that presents the greatest challenge. The incorporation of student voice, however, provides a number of advantages that should encourage PD facilitators to take this step:

This helps to clarify: Planning for student voice requires the facilitator to get organised quickly by establishing clear goals, objectives, and tasks. This is done so that the participants are provided with sufficient time and guidance regarding how they will collect student feedback and understand how it will be used during their session.
Creates connections amongst people: When facilitators invite teachers to involve their students in their own professional development, professional development transforms from something we do for students into something we do with students. Students have the sense that their perspectives are being taken into consideration, which contributes to our growth as professionals and enhances their perception that their input is respected.
Increases participation and the ability to work with others Lectures and other sorts of “sit-and-get” activities frequently inhibit anyone, let alone students, from speaking up. The incorporation of student voice requires the workshop facilitator to give careful consideration to the structure of the workshop in order to ensure that activities complement one another and that participants actively engage with student feedback.
Helps prepare instructors for professional development: After participants have the chance to collect student feedback, they are better able to personalise their professional learning to meet their specific requirements. They are able to better predict opportunities and restrictions to apply what they have learned throughout the sessions to the lesson or to other difficulties.


The next step, which follows after the facilitator has planned out the workshop’s goals and objectives and created an outline, is planning the most effective way for participants to capture student feedback so that it flows with the design of the workshop. This ensures that the workshop is successful. There are a range of methods that may be utilised to assist educators in incorporating student voice into their professional development, and these resources can be used regardless of the types of instructors who are present.

There are primarily two ways to get feedback from students. The first is to invite them to attend the PD session, and the second is to obtain their input in advance.

Students’ participation at a professional development workshop always has the effect of positively altering the dynamic of the workshop, regardless of whether they attend the session in person, participate in it via a conference call, or act as reporters summarising the workshop.

However, professors can record student feedback in advance of attending a workshop to serve as a substitute for having students physically present. Participants have the option of conducting interviews with each other, collecting surveys, or getting students involved in the topic or challenge that will be given, depending on the objectives of the workshop. The following is a list of techniques and ideas that teachers can utilise to obtain feedback from students to bring to the professional development workshop.

FlipGrid allows teachers to conduct pre-workshop interviews with students and then upload a short video of the students discussing what they’ve learned. This is an excellent method for discovering patterns and determining the requirements of groups of educators coming from a variety of schools and locations. In addition to this, it is a great opportunity for the facilitator and the teachers to get to know one another before they actually meet.
Google Forms, Socrative, and Mailchimp are three quick tools that may be used to build simple surveys, ask open-ended as well as closed-ended questions, and gather data.
iMovie allows educators to conduct student interviews or assign students the task of creating short videos on a topic related to the workshop using their personal smartphones or iPads.
Informal group conversations: Teachers can use group discussions to get students engaged with a task or topic, and they can take notes on what the students say during these discussions. You might want to think about using a different format, such as the Fishbowl or the World Cafe.
Mini design thinking session with the students Teachers are able to bring their professional development challenge into the classroom and allow students to tackle it for themselves by guiding them through the design thinking process. The students’ prototypes will be the feedback that can then be brought to the workshop.
Obtaining feedback and incorporating it into one’s professional development can naturally be done in a variety of other ways. However, the most essential thing is to at least make an effort to complete the task. The viewpoints of students are included into our professional development, which helps us remain grounded and focused. Their feedback enables us to prioritise what we take back to the classroom and how we approach difficulties. Additionally, it enables us to develop new ideas to improve both learning and teaching.