5 Ways to Better Lead PD for Teachers

“How can I better lead PD?” teacher leaders often ask their colleagues. Professional development (PD) is ongoing learning for educators. Teacher leaders plan and execute PD in hopes it better equips teachers to help students learn and grow in the classroom.

5 Ways to Better Lead PD for TeachersWhat’s the Deal with PD?

Historically, PD sessions have been lengthy, rarely applicable, “sit and get” meetings. This is an ineffective way to equip teachers with instructional best practices and current pedagogy knowledge. Teachers need to learn in bite-sized sessions that apply to their current circumstances while incorporating movement and collaboration with their peers. However, this recipe for success is an art. Teacher leaders have to practice their craft of delivering high quality, engaging PD.

So how do they do it? This post will share 5 ways to better lead PD for teachers.


  • Make a Long-Term Plan– Planning PD sessions as if they are solos is unproductive and does not translate to increased performance for teachers. PD sessions should be multiple sessions that align to one another and grow the teacher session by session, like building blocks. This takes intentionality and thorough planning. (Try this PD Planning Guide & Calendar.)
  • Have Teachers Track their Learning– Build ownership into the learning process, by showing teachers the year long learning game plan. They’ll understand the end goal and how they will get there each step of the way. When teachers track their PD sessions, this can be used as an artifact for their performance review at the end of the year, as well as confirm any earned credits towards their licensure. (Try this PD Record.)


  • Empower Teachers to Teach Each Other – Teacher leaders cannot be everywhere. Delegating learning opportunities is a way to maximize the impact a single teacher leader can have on an entire staff of teachers. Essentially, a PD huddle provides the team leader of the grade level or subject area the learning content to teach to their peers in a quick learning huddle. (Learn more about how to implement a PD Huddle.)
  • Give Teachers Choice in What/How They Learn– Another way to build buy-in for learning is to provide choice in what teachers can learn (content topics) and how they learn it (listen to a podcast, read a blog/article, interview a high-performing teacher, watch video clips, etc.). (Try this PD Choice Board.)


  • Allow their Experience to Guide You– Although you have a thorough plan and put forth your best effort, sometimes the PD session doesn’t go as planned or it is so transformative teachers leave energized and thankful. You’ll want to know WHY it went either way so you know what to replicate and what to not incorporate in the future. (Try this PD Feedback Survey.)

As a bonus tip, you’ll want to hone your craft so that you gain efficient and effective PD planning strategies. Click here to listen and watch how to do just that.

If you found these recommendations helpful, you can grab them all in the PD Mega Bundle.




How else can you get better at delivering PD for teachers?

About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.