Writing professional learning and development (PLD) objectives
The Ministry of Education has created, in consultation with the sector, an excellent resource to assist principals and boards with professional learning and development (PLD) planning - Professional Learning and Development Planning.
These materials can be used by the principal as a workbook to aid self-evaluation and identify areas of possible development. It includes four sections:
- PLD conversations - creating joint value
- The PLD planning process
- Preparing for the next PLD cycle
- Useful support resources for preparing a PLD proposal
Why do we need PLD?
Boards are required as part of the employment agreements to provide development opportunities for their principals. This is also an area that must be included in the performance agreement. While the principal should be the primary driver of their own professional development, boards have a role to play by ensuring:
- The principal's PLD goals will contribute to the school's strategic goals
- The principal is supported in achieving these goals with the necessary resources (namely time and money)
Benefits of principal PLD include:
- Helping the principal manage staff better, leading to more competent and satisfied teaching and non-teaching staff, which will benefit students
- Allowing the principal to learn from networking activities such as conferences and professional groups and to bring that knowledge back to the school
- Increasing the principal's knowledge and currency through further study
- Improving the principal's job satisfaction, leading to increased motivation and productivity and reduced desire to leave the school - this reduces the potential cost and effort of recruiting a new principal
Note: Principals and boards often hesitate to spend money on PLD for the principal as they may view it as "wasting" money better spent on students. However, the costs versus benefits of development activities should be evaluated by the board and principal together and, if a good investment in the future, should be supported by the board.