Flexible Professional Development Options


Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools

The SPF Flexible Professional Development Options were developed to provide teacher choice in professional development, and to support teacher leadership within the district. After-school workshops are developed and presented by teachers and administrators to meet the specific needs of faculty in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood school district. Each option is also designed to provide on-going and job-embedded learning, giving faculty the opportunity to learn new things, apply those learnings within the context of their work, and then reflect on the effectiveness of the new strategies or ideas they have explored.

This year, faculty will have the option of completing professional development in lieu of the June 21 PD day. Faculty should choose an option that is meaningful to them and supports their growth in accordance with their Professional Development Plan, the Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching and/or the District Strategic Plan. In some cases, alternate professional development experiences will be approved for Flex PD; those experiences should capture learning that cannot be provided by the district and aligned with a faculty member’s PDP, job expectations, or the District Strategic Plan.

The Flexible PD Options include summer and after-school workshops, peer collaborations, classroom visits, action research, peer coaching, and more. Each experience provides a different form of professional growth, and you will accrue PD hours for each experience you choose to participate in. Completing one of the Flex PD Options presented here will serve as your third PD day (June 21); however, there will still be a variety of in-person workshops to attend on June 21 if that’s the best option for you. In some cases you will need to choose more than one experience to fulfill the Flex PD requirement.

PD hours completed for the Flex requirement, as well as any hours accrued above and beyond, will be recorded in My Learning Plan so that you can celebrate (and report) the total number of PD hours you completed at the end of the year.

This year's options:

After-school and/or Summer PD Workshops

Peer Collaboration

Classroom Visits

Action Research

Peer Coaching

June 21 PD day

Summer or After-school workshops and Book Clubs

  • Attend workshops totaling a minimum of 5.5 hours:
    • Two single-session summer workshops (Summer 2018)
    • A single-session summer workshop in addition to an after-school workshop series (Summer 2018)
    • A multi-session after-school workshop series
    • Book Clubs will meet for 3 hours total, with the additional time provided for reading the book. Book Club titles include: Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions; Empathy: Why it Matters, and How to Get It; The Art of Happiness at Work; and others! Book Clubs will be organized based on interest.

Peer Collaboration:

~ a collaborative learning experience in which two teachers agree to work together to enhance understanding of a specific area (mutually agreed upon) by visiting each others’ classrooms in a non-evaluative manner.

  • Select a peer to work with, such that mutual learning will occur
  • ScIP teachers in your building can help you identify a partner if needed
  • View the presentation on peer collaboration strategies and best practices
  • Submit a plan for approval, describing the area of focus, what both parties intend to learn from the experience, the types of data that will be collected during the peer observations, and the questions they will discuss in the debriefing. Proposals will be reviewed and approved at the end of each month (e.g. proposals submitted in October will be reviewed at the end of October, etc.)
  • Visit each others’ classrooms to collect data/evidence (during your prep time); each teacher/faculty member should observe each other a minimum of two times.
  • Meet in between observations and at the conclusion of all observations to discuss the mutual learning.
  • Complete reflection form describing the collaborative learning that occurred.

Click on the links above to complete the process for having your peer collaboration proposal approved.

Classroom visits

~ non-evaluative visits to various teachers’ classrooms (or equivalent) to gain an understanding of practices in various areas

  • Visit classes that have been identified as open for visits, or for which you have permission from the teacher
  • Prior to classroom visits, identify specific areas that you would like to learn about by observing other teachers (submit proposal for approval)
  • Visit a minimum of 4 different classes (minimum of 30 minutes each visit)
  • Complete reflection form
    • List of the classes you visited (topic/content/grade)
    • Reflect on what learned based on your area of focus
    • Apply something you learned and reflect on how it went
    • Share a lesson/artifact showing how you applied what you learned.

Action Research

~ this option is strongly recommended for third year teachers as the third year of the New Teacher Roundtable program. It is open to all other faculty members who wish to conduct Action Research. Select a problem of practice that you wish to explore; determine methods for data collection; implement research-based interventions; assess the impact of your action plan.

  • Attend two after-school sessions on How to Conduct Action Research, using databases to find scholarly research, and peer review session.
  • Work with a supervisor who will serve as your mentor throughout the process, meeting with them at a mutually convenient time
  • Present the findings of your Action Research at the Celebration of Learning in June.
  • If you wish to participate in Action Research, please email Erin Mullman, Elementary Supervisor at emullman@spfk12.org.

Peer Coaching

Peer coaching is a form of individualized professional development in which you collaborate with a trained peer coach in any aspect of your professional practice. A limited number of District peer coaches are available; if you would like to request a peer coaching session, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/spfpeercoach18-19

June 21 PD day

If you plan to attend the June 21 Day, you will be contacted in the spring to identify the workshops you wish to attend. There will be a range of in-person workshops to choose from for both the morning and afternoon sessions.


Please see the ScIP teacher representative in your building!

Brunner - Ella Greenberg

Coles - Laura Burns

Evergreen - Jennifer Dubroski

McGinn - Amanda Marchica

School One - Charity Morris

Park Middle - Alex Hofer

Terrill Middle - Ellen Christiano

SPFHS - Dan Valentine