- New teachers at NYC public schools must meet for 80 minutes every Monday for staff-led professional development, a new concept implemented by Chancellor Carmen Fariña to empower educators.
- How schools spend the time is up to them, though the city's education department gave principals a professional development book with suggestions.
- Some, including the city's teacher unions, are contrasting this level of freedom with the Bloomberg administration's approach, which saw expensive consultants brought in to lead workshops. "You don’t need to bring a consultant in who gets paid a lot of money to tell you what the best things are for your kids,” Fariña told teachers.
According to Chalkbeat NY, which interviewed a dozen schools, teachers have used this time for teacher-initiated workshops for technology and special education, book clubs with an education/pedagogical slant, an opportunity to watch videotaped lessons of peers, and visits to other public schools.
While some schools are still struggling to figure out how the spend the time — or even winging it — the idea would be that schools can look inward to find great ideas. If nobody at a school is able to provide support for new teachers, then that school probably has a bigger problem.