characterized by or resulting from careful and thorough consideration
characterized by awareness of the consequences
slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved
~ from Merriam-Webster
Owner, author, and consultant, Brooke Cushwa, has 16 years of classroom experience, along with a Masters in Educational Leadership and a National Board Certification since 2012. She now works as a coach to help mentor new teachers. Out of this experience came Deliberate Teaching Practices™ a consulting business and professional development workbook series. Each book focuses on a specific skill related to instruction and classroom management. Through reflections, study, and planning, teachers develop their craft to best meet the needs of their classrooms and their students.
Deliberate Teaching Practices seeks to improve the professional development experience through a series of four initiatives:
Initiative 1: Be more focused in our studies and practice.
While there are many quality educational books in publication, most are often incredibly dense and require a copious amount of time and initiative to read. Additionally, these often cover an immense amount of topics in a cursory fashion. Believing that skills are better developed through more in-depth focus, each book in the Deliberate Teaching Practices series focuses on a very specific element of instruction and classroom management. The first book, Classroom Creation Guide, focuses on the physical classroom environment: seating, organization of the resources, decor, color choices, etc... The second book, available in Spring 2023, will focus on classroom rules and procedures. Future topics will include proximity, relationships, higher order questioning, checking for understanding, assessments, and plenty more. Rather than completing the books chronologically, the selection of these books should be made based upon teachers' needs and interests.
Initiative 2: Be more reflective of our own teaching practices.
Until now, professional development for educators has been drastically leader-driven and author-driven, where content is generated by one person, or even a group of individuals, and delivered to an audience. It is the belief of D.T.P. that professionals can and should be more involved in the process of developing their own skills. These books, therefore, are more aptly referred to as workbooks or guidebooks because they focus on the individual teachers' experiences and needs and can be completed alone or with a group. Having a pre-assessment and a post-assessment, along with reflection questions throughout each chapter, teachers are encouraged to reflect on their own skills, their students' needs, and the needs of their grade level or content areas as they make important decisions about their classroom choices.
Initiative 3: Be deliberate in improving our practices by studying and selecting research-based methodology.
Provided in a way that is not inundating to its readers, peer-reviewed research is embedded in each chapter. However, D.T.P. seeks to root this even further by including examples and applications of this research from other professions - another trait that sets D.T.P. apart from other professional development programs. You'll find examples from business, government, and sports scattered throughout each book. We also try to to steer away from programs and initiatives, rooting itself, instead, in traditional, effective pedagogy. In this way, teachers are selecting methods and making decisions that have consistently been proven effective for decades.
Initiative 4: Be empowered and empower others.
An intentional byproduct of the first three initiatives is the belief that teachers are happier, more successful, and more empowered when they have more ownership of their own professional development and classroom choices. After completing these books, teachers will know why they make certain decisions for their classrooms, the impact their choices have on their students, the research behind those choices, and plans for how to implement those choices. Individually, teachers will feel more effective and more empowered. If these books are completed as a department or faculty, ideally, the teachers spend time discussing the research, discussing the best strategies for their own students, and planning for future instruction and classroom management, empowering them individually and collectively.
Whether the books are being read individually or as a group, it is the goal of D.T.P. that teachers are awarded professional development credit for the completion of each guidebook. To this end, a scoring rubric has been provided at the conclusion of each book.