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AFT Professional Development (formerly AFT ER&D)

The AFT Professional Development program created by the American Federation of Teachers is a union-sponsored, research-based professional development program. It was created by the AFT through the collaboration of practitioners and researchers to encourage classroom educators and paraprofessionals to improve their practice and their students’ achievement by becoming users of research and proven educational methods.

Getting started. Local presidents who are interested in establishing a local professional development program with the AFT assistance should contact the IFT union professional issues director, Monique Redeaux-Smith, to request recommendation for participation.

AFT Professional Development for Paraprofessionals
An AFT professional development module, this series of courses features research-based content on teaching and learning for novice and veteran teachers alike. Induction/Mentoring Program Assistance, including: 

  • Program development and implementation, and
  • Mentor training of trainers. Assistance to Locals, Teachers and Paraprofessionals with:
  • State and federal education initiatives;
  • State certification and federal Highly Qualified requirements;
  • Special education issues, and
  • Response to Intervention (RtI) processes.

AFT Professional Development for Teachers

  • Beginning Reading Instruction
    Beginning Reading Instruction (BR) focuses on how children learn to read and the best ways to teach beginning reading from kindergarten to the end of the primary grades. Because the course contains considerable information on how students develop basic decoding skills, it is also useful for teachers and support staff working with older students who still are having difficulty with decoding and fluency. The course presents a synthesis of the research consensus for beginning reading instruction, and it provides the most effective instruction strategies—aligned to that research—to help students develop print awareness, phonemic awareness, knowledge of the alphabetical system, phonics/decoding skills, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

  • Managing Anti-Social Behavior
    The anti-social actions of a small but powerful number of students in school not only put their own academic success at risk but threaten the learning environment for everyone. This course presents research on emotional and behavioral problems of students who consistently act out. Participants will learn strategies to reducs and/or prevent the occurrence of disruptive or dangerous outbreaks.

  • Thinking Math 3-5
    Redesigned to assist teachers to examine, understand and make specific links to the Common Core Mathematics Standards, this course now focuses not only on research finding about how children learn multiplication and division of whole numbers but also on developing fraction concepts targeted in grade 5, and extending multiplication and division understanding to problems that involve a whole number and a unit fraction.



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