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The view from Jones Elementary School

In a 2-minute video interview, Justin Minkel shares the impact of teacher-led professional development on both teacher and student performance.

Justin Minkel—a 1st grade teacher in Springdale Arkansas, CTQ blogger, and Collaboratory member—was recently featured in a video series produced by the U.S. Department of Education. This series highlights the changes that teachers, students, families and communities are making in education in America.

In a 2-minute video interview, Justin shares his school’s approach to embedded, staff-led professional development. He describes how his school, Jones Elementary, implemented 3 hours of collaborative professional development for teachers in the school day. This change has resulted in a supportive school culture with tremendous benefits for teachers, and students.  

In the video, Justin comments, “In this country, I think we have a lot for new teachers—to support them—we have some things in place for struggling teachers, but we don’t have a lot of things in place for teachers who are already good or competent to really become excellent. But at this school, we do.” 

Justin references how teachers in top-performing nations have "a lot more collaboration time in their school day than schools in America", and he's right. The CTQ-Global report documents this, sharing teachers’ on-the-ground experiences with professional learning systems in six cities around the world. 

Justin explains how his principal restructured the school day to allow for more teacher-driven professional learning and collaborative time, a recommendation also made in this infographic by CTQ-Kentucky teachers on optimizing teacher time

Finally, Justin notes how this shift has improved both teacher and student performance, something on which Barnett Berry frequently writes.

Check out these articles for more research-based recommendations on professional learning systems: 

Justin's interview video was preceded by a 4-minute documentary about how teachers and the school principal at Jones Elementary work together to encourage their students to succeed.