The start of the school year is a great time to take stock of your professional learning practices. Your strategic priorities are in focus and your calendars are set, but have you made sure your professional learning strategies are keeping pace with the latest research and insights? Have you made plans to address schools’ most timely needs?

The Learning Professional staff compiled a list of seven must-read articles to get the most out of your professional learning this school year and beyond.

Professional learning vs. PD: The distinction matters

By Janice Bradley, Cori Groth, Andrea Rorrer, and Leslie Evans

Are the learning opportunities you’re planning for this year professional learning or PD? There’s a difference, and your mindset matters for teachers’ experiences and outcomes.

To make a difference for every student, give every new teacher a mentor

By Sharron Helmke

With teacher shortages on the rise, schools are grappling with how to support large numbers of new teachers to be excellent from day one. Mentoring is key – but it has to be high-quality to make an impact.

Yes, a conference can lead to sustained learning. Here’s how.

By Juliet Correll

Meaningful professional learning is job-embedded and sustained. That doesn’t mean a conference isn’t valuable. It means you have to be intentional about what you do before, during, and after.

How districts and states are addressing teacher turnover

By Lisa Lachlan-Haché, Lois Kimmel, Cheryl Krohn, Dawn Dolby and Tammie Causey-Konaté

Teacher recruitment isn’t the only way to address teacher turnover. Retention is just as important, and professional support is a key strategy for keeping your current workforce strong.

Connecting across grades helps teachers close student learning gaps

Q & A with Andrea Gautney and Nicole Marshall

Math scores are lagging across the U.S., and educators are concerned about catching students up and moving them forward after pandemic-related disruptions. Two veteran math coaches discuss why vertical alignment of instruction across grades is essential, and explain how to do it.

To close learning gaps, address social and emotional skills

By Stephanie Jones and Rebecca Bailey

Student behavior problems and mental health challenges are on the rise, according to teachers and principals. Why, and what can we do about it? Professional learning grounded in social and emotional development can help.

8 dimensions of wellness for educators

By Angel Montoya and Laura Lee Summers

It doesn’t take long for stress and burnout to set in, and it’s better to prevent the problems before they start. Understanding what true wellness looks like can help educators put the right supports in place.

For more insights and advice about high-quality professional learning throughout the school year, read The Learning Professional in print or online with Learning Forward membership.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Suzanne-bouffard
Senior Vice President, Communications & Publications | + posts

Suzanne Bouffard is senior vice president of communications and publications at Learning Forward. She is the editor of The Learning Professional, Learning Forward’s flagship publication. She also contributes to the Learning Forward blog and webinars. With a background in child development, she has a passion for making research and best practices accessible to educators, policymakers, and families. She has written for many national publications including The New York Times and the Atlantic, and previously worked as a writer and researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Duke University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. She loves working with authors to help them develop their ideas and voices for publication.

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