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Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance: Even in a Pandemic

In Part 1 of this article, the authors talked about how as teacher preparation program professors in different areas of the United States, they managed to still provide valuable, worthwhile, and innovative professional development for their preservice educators and graduate students who are in-service teachers, despite the myriad ways in which COVID-19 derailed the spring semester.

In Part 2, the authors share the feedback from their students who participated in the virtual professional development.

We, six collaborators, banded together to provide professional development for pre- and in-service teachers’ professional learning experiences during their transition to emergency remote teaching (Hodges et al., 2020) through a self-initiated professional learning community (SIPLC) (Pinnegar & Hamilton, 2009). Adopting this widely practiced research method among teacher educators (Hamilton & Pinnegar, 2013), the collaboration aimed to deepen the understanding of preservice and in-service teachers’ experiences in the SIPLC as they transitioned to remote teaching under the pandemic (DuFour & Eaker, 1998; Song et al., 2020) using Zoom recordings.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance: Even in a Pandemic

In Part 1 of this article, the authors talk about how, as teacher preparation program professors in different areas of the United States, they managed to still provide valuable, worthwhile, and innovative professional development for their preservice educators and graduate students who are in-service teachers, despite the myriad ways in which COVID-19 derailed their spring semester.

business, education, people and office concept - businesswoman or teacher in suit pointing finger up from backMany years ago, during a class on educational administration in my [Megan Reister] master’s program, a guest speaker shared an inspirational mantra he lived by as principal of a large elementary school.  He shared the quote, “Prior planning prevents poor performance!” and then went on to explain how he incorporated intentional planning, thoughtful conversations, and open communication with colleagues and staff at his school to create an atmosphere of intentionality and accountability within and outside the classrooms. 

As a professor of special education and early childhood education in Ohio, that expression came to mind more than once as I experienced the tumultuous second half of a semester that no one could have predicted or planned for thanks to COVID-19 in Spring 2020.  No one could have prepared for what occurred—schools closing, moving to remote teaching, working full-time from home while also managing children at home full-time without the usual supports. One could hardly be faulted for poor performance no matter how much planning happened on the fly. I could only shake my head as I thought back on that statement about planning and performance that made such an impact in my early years of teaching in early March when the news broke that the university was taking a week to figure out how to move to online teaching for the next month and then again, once plans were changed and it was determined the whole spring semester would be moved to online learning.

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