Professional development day was on the 5th of November, which was also election day. The purpose of PDD is to develop the skills that teachers have and improve on them. It is also a reminder for teachers to get them to start thinking about the problems that occur not just in Malden but also at other schools like Malden. Most importantly, it is a way to train and inform teachers on the ways they should approach and deal with the problems that arise in their school environment.
Micheal Berman, a Biology teacher at Malden High said that “there weren’t just teachers from Malden High, there were some that came from Revere, Winthrop and plenty of other schools.” The schools that came had a similar demographic population and similar size to the one of Malden High which made it easier for the teachers to discuss some similar and recurring problems they all face and how they can best address them.
There were different workshops that the teachers could take and it was up to them to decide which ones they wanted to go to. Berman continued on by saying “some of the workshops were really practical, like how [students] could use google classroom in [their] class and some were more abstract, like how does racism affect our students.”
Berman felt like parts of the workshops were beneficial and parts of it were not. A speaker came in and covered the topic of equity and so on. Berman preferred the workshop that talked about the Haitian population at Malden and how to best understand and teach Haitian students because he personally felt like that was very useful.
Kerry Veritas, also a teacher at Malden High, felt that when discussing equity, “the issues that young girls face in schools should have also been included.” Many topics were discussed in the sessions like social justice and sexism but nothing “specifically addressed the needs of the students and how educators should handle them,” she says.
Overall, professional development day is beneficial for most teachers and there could definitely be an improvement in the workshops that they offer. However, for now it is a good way to educate teachers on how to create a better learning environment for their students.