Technical Assistance Toolbox: Tools to Support Systemic Change Along the Educator Career Continuum

Technical Assistance Toolbox PD

Professional Development Overview

Preparation Recruitment, Hiring, & Retention Mentoring & Induction Professional Development Compensation Evaluation Leadership Home

Once teachers have entered the classroom, providing opportunities to continually develop their knowledge and skills and support their professional growth is imperative. Professional development is also a powerful strategy in retaining an effective teaching staff in schools. Most traditional professional development offerings do not relate to teacher evaluation results and are rarely differentiated based on individual teacher needs. State and district decision makers need to work to ensure that professional development is relevant and effective by tracking impact on teaching and learning. High-quality professional development:

  • Supports school and district goals.
  • Focuses on core content and modeling of teaching strategies.
  • Aligns with state and district standards and assessments.
  • Is job embedded and specific to the teacher.
  • Includes opportunities for active learning of new teaching strategies.
  • Provides opportunities for collaboration among teachers.
  • Includes embedded follow-up and continuous feedback.

Issue Brief

The TQ Center, in collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center and the National Staff Development Council, developed an Issue Brief that describes the research regarding job-embedded professional development, provides several descriptive examples, and details the conditions necessary for successful implementation.

Research & Policy Brief

In the following Research & Policy Briefs, the TQ Center focuses on various issues related to professional learning. The briefs discuss the connection between evaluation and professional learning, and how to select professional learning activities that are worth the allocation of scarce resources.

Research-to-Practice Briefs

This TQ Center Research-to-Practice brief highlights the need for systemic professional learning for educators to meet the demands of college and career ready standards. This brief focuses on how state-level professional development policy, certification policy, evaluation policy, and compensation policy can align to build systems to support professional learning.

TQ Connection Papers

The TQ Center developed a series of documents that describe the content and purpose of innovation configurations, outlines their intended use as syllabus evaluation tools, and provides scoring guidelines and examples for clarification.

The Need:

The Mid-Continent Comprehensive Center (MC3) and the Oklahoma State Department of Education recognized that districts in Oklahoma needed assistance with equitably distributing highly qualified teachers. MC3 requested assistance from the TQ Center to collect, analyze, and use data to inform professional development and technical assistance needs in Oklahoma's districts.

Our Response:

The TQ Center convened a small working group to review types of professional development technical assistance, define the outcomes for each type, review and analyze the data already being gathered, and identify the resources (person, technology, etc.) needed for data gathering and analysis.

The Need:

The Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center (MACC) asked for support in identifying examples of states and districts that provide high-quality, job-embedded professional development for staff. MACC also requested guidance in determining how districts and schools can provide high-quality professional development.

Our Response:

The TQ Center, in collaboration with MACC and Learning Forward, developed an Issue Brief about the topic: Job-Embedded Professional Development: What It Is, Who Is Responsible, and How to Get It Done Well.

The Need:

The Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center requested support in looking across professional development studies that assess the status of Michigan's professional development policy.

Our Response:

The TQ Center created the Michigan Professional Development Handout, a user-friendly publication that identifies key criteria for high-quality professional development. The handout helped education stakeholders look at the current status of the professional development policy in Michigan in relationship to other states.

The GTL Center supports regional comprehensive centers and states through explicit technical assistance efforts. In addition, the GTL Center can provide assistance with professional development by

  • Sharing ways to restructure time in the school day to accommodate professional learning opportunities.
  • Defining what differentiated professional development and professional learning for teachers look like across the educator’s career continuum.
  • Advising about measures of performance and how the measures inform professional learning.
  • Connecting English language performance assessments with high-quality instruction.
  • Identifying strategies for providing professional development to develop teacher leaders.

Learn more about how Professional Development affects Evaluation and Leadership.

Techical Assistance Toolbox Professional Development Evaluation Leadership

Providing differentiated professional development opportunities requires states and districts to collect data regarding their teachers' strengths and weaknesses. A multiple-measures evaluation system can provide rich evidence for helping administrators identify professional growth needs at the individual, school, and district levels. Learn more about how the GTL Center supports evaluation activities.

Developing the skills and knowledge of teachers can help them move into mentor, master teacher, and/or leadership positions, thereby creating pathways for career advancement and affecting compensation decisions. Learn more about how the GTL Center supports leadership activities.

Contact Information


(Please enter the text in the image above. Text is not case sensitive.)
Click here if you cannot recognize the code.
All fields are required.

Phone: 877-322-8700


Chicago, Illinois Office:
20 North Wacker Drive
Suite 1231
Chicago, IL 60606-2901

Naperville, Illinois Office:
1120 East Diehl Road
Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563

Washington, D.C., Office:
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
Washington, DC 20007-3835

Staff Directory