Paula Johnson

A Valuing Professional Development Model – Podcast Episode 143 | Classnotes Podcast 143

Classnotes Podcast (July 28, 2014) Teaching is a learning process. Teachers are constantly learning about their students and how they respond to each instructional strategy used in the classroom. With the powerful impact quality teaching has on the success of students, teachers need access to quality professional development. But traditional styles of teacher training have been weak. They often are attempts at quick fixes that in theory are designed to work across the board. But, as IDRA education associate, Paula Johnson, M.A., explains, IDRA has found that professional development works best when it is ongoing, when it values the teachers themselves and when it is designed for each school’s unique context.

Paula gives an overview of how IDRA provides professional development on site and with technology tools to tailor content and sustain successes. IDRA also has built a private online professional network of teachers who share feedback, innovations and peer support. Paula is interviewed by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., IDRA senior education associate.

Show length: 14:51

Send comments to

Sign up for Classnotes e-mail alerts.


Coaching and Mentoring for Novice Teachers
Dynamic induction training for mentors and new teachers.

Suggestions for Conducting Effective Teaching Demonstrations in Classrooms with Diverse Learners
Abelardo Villarreal, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

Aligning School-Based Factors for Student Success – Using Contextual Data to Inform Science Professional Development
Kristin Grayson, M.Ed., IDRA Newsletter

Teaching Must be Culturally Relevant to be Quality
Bradley Scott, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

Defining Teaching Quality Beyond the Certificate
Kristin Grayson, M.A., IDRA Newsletter

Pedagogical Content Knowledge – What Matters Most in the Professional Learning of Content Teachers in Classrooms with Diverse Student Populations
Adela Solís, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

Your feedback

We welcome your comments and questions to the podcast. Send an e-mail to

Listen to every episode!

To ensure you don’t miss a single episode of IDRA Classnotes, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, (download iTunes free if you don’t have it) or sign up to receive an e-mail alert as soon as a new show is published.


Show Notes

  • Paula talks about the IDRA model of “valuing” teachers’ diversity and unique professional experiences.

  • Paula outlines the traditional approach to professional development and explains how the IDRA model is different, through the building of a professional “community of practice” that is sustainable and leads to transformative change.

  • Paula describes the online community platform IDRA uses to provide ongoing content and sessions, and where teachers from different locations and academic disciplines can share their classroom experiences and reflections with each other.

  • Paula discusses how developments in technology and real-time video conversations have enabled regular feedback, support and follow-up with teachers, without having to be in the same physical location.

  • Paula explains why intrinsic motivation ultimately drives meaningful connections in online environments, along with a sense that the teachers “are not alone… and that there are other people who are going through the same [professional challenges].”