Is this a new resource?

What exactly is AFT Professional Development?

What is the purpose of AFT PD? How can it help Education Minnesota members?

Is the program just for teachers? 

How can a local get the materials?

Who can be a trainer?

It sounds like locals need to make a commitment before they have access to the materials. How does a local become involved?

Have any Minnesota locals participated?

Is this just for large locals? How can smaller locals get involved? Can Education Minnesota offer any help in bringing it to our members?

If I am interested, whom do I contact?
 


Is this a new resource?
No. Begun as Educational Research and Dissemination, the program has a 20-year track record. Even in the late 1970s, the American Federation of Teachers knew that members weren't getting staff development that met their needs.

Many state and local unions across the country have active programs. With the renewed emphasis on quality teaching and student achievement, AFT has devoted more resources to revitalizing the program and bringing it to more state and local unions.

What exactly is AFT Professional Development?
AFT PD takes proven research, translates it into everyday language and develops strategies for using the research information to improve classroom instruction. This year's list of courses cover everything from strategies to student success to English language learners to assessments and student behavior. See the full list with course descriptions.

What is the purpose of AFT PD? How can it help Education Minnesota members?
The program provides union members with high-quality, research-based strategies for enhancing instruction. The model incorporates the standards of effective professional development, focuses on student achievement, facilitates collaboration among colleagues, and provides unions ownership for the program. It is one way Education Minnesota supports quality teaching and helps members address student achievement.

Is the program just for teachers?
Absolutely not! Although only one course is designated for educational assistants, all of the strands contain information of use to educational assistants working with students.

How can a local get the materials?
AFT PD is built on a train-the-trainer model. The only way to get the materials is to identify members who will be trained by Education Minnesota and AFT. Once the identified member has satisfactorily completed the training, the local is ready to develop an action plan that brings the information to its members.

Who can be a trainer?
Anyone the local selects. In order to teach a strand, the trainer must participate in the summer and winter institutes and be validated as a trainer. Local leaders will learn to identify members with the potential to be trainers. Trainers can be teachers, educational assistants or recently retired teachers.

It sounds like locals need to make a commitment before they have access to the materials. How does a local become involved?

  • Locals do need to make a commitment. Here is what a local must agree to do:
  • Local president goes to a local Executive Council and gets a commitment to participate in the program.
  • Local president identifies one or two local site coordinators who will attend the summer training institute.

Have any Minnesota locals participated?
Yes. See the full list of local unions and intermediate organizations offering the program to their members.

Is this just for large locals? How can smaller locals get involved? Can Education Minnesota offer any help in bringing it to our members?
We encourage locals of all sizes to participate. Education Minnesota is working on ways to bring several professional development resources to all of our members. There is help for locals that will help us develop, implement and evaluate various models for delivering this and other professional development opportunities. Intermediate organizations are an effective means of bringing this to smaller locals.

If I am interested, whom do I contact?
Complete the Local Union Interest Indicator and include your local president and field staff. For specific questions, contact Jodi Olson in the Education Minnesota Education Issues Department at 800-652-9073 or 651-292-4889.