A Marianas High School teacher asked for clearer guidance on professional development and certification requirements for public school teachers at last Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.
Physical Education teacher Jim Feger asked board officials to consider implementing a “curriculum guide” for teachers to help meet their 60-hour requirement for professional development each year.
BOE chair Herman Guerrero acknowledged his comments, referring his concerns to the Public School System management.
“Teachers are required to have 60 hours a year to get their certification process. That’s about equivalent to an AA [associate degree]. I’d like to see that it is a more structured curriculum,” Feger told the board.
For example, he said, if he did certification classes for PE, he would like a curriculum laid out for him. “If I lack the hours required to complete your recommendations, then I’d be required to make it up on my own,” he said.
He noted what appears to be a lack of documentation for his attendance at previous professional development sessions, even as he claimed he has attended all of them.
“After I found out I had to prove [attendance]—I, myself and others—got very nervous. How are we going to go back a couple of years and prove we went to these different professional development [sessions]?” he asked.
Some teachers have been “scrambling around” looking at emails for proof, according to Feger. He said he understands the need for certification to meet accreditation requirements and the need to develop teachers professionally, but added, “that the process itself needs to amended to have more structure.”
In his written comments to the board, Feger said teachers are expected to have 60 hours of professional day classes each year, with 45 of those hours in their content subject area of teaching. PSS administrators are required to complete 120 hours a year of Professional Day classes, he said.
“But from what I have been led to believe is that PSS administrators such as principals and vice principals are, for a lack of a better term, under a structured curriculum implemented and recorded by PSS.”
He noted he would like a “guidance system” that teachers could follow to complete their requirements. This “system” he said refers to “educational jargon” like “curriculum, goals, objectives, lesson plans, etc.”