Question Detail

What are some effective ways that you have integrated your specials teachers, for example, art and PE, into your whole-staff professional development sessions? If you are an art or PE teacher, what type of professional development would you appreciate having?

Feb 25, 2015 11:07am

Our school schedules one day each month as a PD day and I find that our art teachers and PE teacher are left out on their own when sessions occur that are based on traditional academic subjects like reading and math. I want to find a way to include them in professional development outside of giving them time to plan.

  • Arts / Other
  • K-5
  • Coaching
  • Teacher Collaboration


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    • Feb 25, 2015 2:28pm

      I live in CA, where I think the art and PE standards have been updated recently, and some of them are very research and/or writing based. Our "specials" teachers aren't really sure how to assess those students or even really teach the literacy skills to access the PE or art content for the purpose of assessment.

      Perhaps ask them to identify a few standards that they would like to incorporate more data collection and analysis (to work with the science or math teachers) or reflective writing or reporting of data. Then work as a collaborative team to help them with strategies for doing so - a series of lesson plans or a unit plan, that integrates the math, research, reading, or writing skills to improve the students' skills in the "specials."

      • Mar 22, 2015 10:41am

        Our area schools pool resources for PD. All the art teachers ( 12 to 15 of us) Pre K through High School from each district plan PD with local museums. In MA we are very lucky to have the DeCordova museum, MFA, ICA and MASS MoCA all within one and a half hours away. Each of these excellent museums offer PD for teachers aligned to the MA standards or tailored to suit our group's needs. All of us look forward to our PD as valid and valuable learning experiences. Artworks are awe inspiring sources of inspiration and evidence for math, poetry/writing, science, and social sciences.

        • Apr 21, 2015 8:34pm

          What great advice! I love reading so many different pieces of advice/ tips and tricks for teachers. I have often wondered about what it will be like when I become a PE/Health teacher because it is not weighed the same as math or English classes.These are great tips that I can incorporate when I finally become a teacher and have a classroom of my own.

          • Jun 7, 2015 11:28am

            The English Language Arts Common Core is quite specific that reading and writing is and should be a part of "other" subjects, especially as students progress through the grades. I wonder if there might be some useful exchange on how to incorporate reading and writing into specials.

            Additionally, the arts and movement can be very useful in "regular" classrooms to teach core subjects. (Think STEM and STEAM.) Perhaps the "specials" might be able to make some suggestions on how to incorporate movement, visuals, and music into the regular classrooms.