All K-12 employees need to receive professional development in their field. Teachers need to learn about new and better ways to deliver instruction. Classified staff needs to learn about the new programs and district initiatives. Administrators need to learn about ways to manage their staff and facility in a more effective and efficient manner. Technical staff needs to learn about the new technology developments to select and implement the systems that will assist in making everyone’s life easier and more effective in education.
Can any of these job areas do without their trainings and if so, for how long? When will the lack of funding to support forward movement in professional development be felt by the students and community? It seems that professional development funds are usually cut soon after the funding for the district grant writer. In other words, it is one of the first items cut from the budget.
In these lean times in education the technical staff is faced with a large dilemma. We need to keep up with the latest and greatest in technology for the K-12 arena; however, there are not funds available to send staff to trainings where they learn about ways to do more with less and improve the technical workings of the school site, district or county. These individuals are already highly skilled and trained personnel but we need to keep them this way. With limited, or no professional development funds available, how can we keep our staff up to speed with the ever changing world of technology?
The technology staff is expected to integrate the latest technical innovations as they are released. It seems to me that the technical staff’s lack of continued professional growth would be felt sooner by their “clients” than the other groups. Everyone needs to continue to grow and model being lifelong learners, but when we cut the training to the technical staff, there is no opportunity for growth in the technical department and this equates to stagnant progress that affects everyone in the organization, from staff to students to community members.