Professional Learning for Certificate Renewal

Professional Learning

The Professional Learning webpage is designed to provide educators with a wide range of ideas, guidelines, and materials that support implementation of job-embedded professional learning in professional learning communities. Beginning July 1, 2017, professional learning linked to educator certificate renewal must be done as continuous job-embedded learning rather than through workshops that award professional learning units. The goal is to improve teaching and learning by changing how educators engage in professional learning as they work collaboratively with colleagues.

Professional learning in Georgia and many other states has relied heavily on the over-used strategy of having educators attend workshops and conference. Presumably attendees would return to their jobs, implement what was learned, and teaching and learning would improve. We all know this approach has done little to move the needle in raising student achievement. Over use of workshops as an improvement strategy ignores compelling research that points to school learning communities as the best way to improve teaching and learning. In addition, the collaborative nature of job-embedded learning is highly motivating and may be one of the keys to lowering teacher attrition.

Professional learning for the purpose of certificate renewal in Georgia is described in Certification Rule 505-2-.36, Renewal Requirements. This rule outlines the basic requirements that professional learning must be job-embedded, done on a continuous basis, and done while working with colleagues in a professional learning community. All professional learning must be designed around national professional learning standards developed by the national professional learning organization, Learning Forward. Professional learning goals and plans are required as a way of organizing the learning for every certified educator including teachers, school and district leaders, paraprofessional, employees of state and regional education organizations, colleges and universities, and any other entity that employees certified educators.

To help schools and school districts prepare for this change, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission has created videos, guidelines, and collected other materials to provide you with strategies and information on implementing Georgia’s new Professional Learning Model. Watch an exemplary professional learning community delve into student test data. See how members of a learning community work together to meet the needs of every child. Pay attention to the challenges and successes that a principal and her teachers face. Listen to educators at all levels express their thoughts on the changes in our system of professional learning. Examine guidelines for using various protocols for collaborative work, or for analyzing data and student work. Frequently Asked Questions about implementation are collected and published here and updated periodically.

GaPSC provides periodic updates to this site. In addition, links to other websites are available to expand the availability of information. Inquiries regarding this webpage should be e-mailed to