At Uniondale, we have 3 basic principles at the core of our schools’ staff development:
1-Looking at real challenges faced by the school. For example a number of non-speaking English language has enrolled at a school, another school is a neighborhood where students speak African American vernacular English (ebonics), and the school ideally would need to prepare the students for college and workforce that use the standard English language. This is not the responsibility for English Reading, and enrichment teachers; for example science and health involve a large number of important words that may not be used frequently in daily life. However the science and health teachers will need to be trained on how to increase the probability that students will read, speak and write well in standard, science oriented language.
2- Active learning at the session and in follow up.
3- Leadership and community engagement: For example; a principal at a school has agreed to a suggestion that a group of 6th graders who had behavioral issues, can work with the custodian on a landscape project around the school and earn a bit of money whilst working for their communities. The idea worked and the teachers and administrators reported that the impact of this community work has positively impacted the students and their grades went up. The Custodian didn’t teach them algebra, but he engaged their in social and ethical development, they became solid citizens- by setting a good example that showed how work, no matter what kind of work it is, has an innate dignity.