We are thinking of trying something new next year in terms of Professional Development for our staff. Loosely modeled on Google's 20% time, we are going to change how teachers engage in their own professional learning.
Let me summarize:
Professional Learning that is learner driven, job embedded and meaningful to the day to day work that teachers do, will have the biggest impact on the intrinsic motivation of teachers and have the best chance of increasing student achievement
- Teacher choice is critical. Teachers will choose an area that they see as being important and valuable to what they are doing in their classroom. (e.g. technology integration, personalized learning, student motivation, differentiated instruction, literacy instruction, assessment for learning, planning for instruction, problem based learning, etc.)
- Teachers will be placed in teams of teachers that have chosen a similar topic
- Teams will formally meet monthly (we will increase our "late start Wednesday’s" to include the 4th Wednesday of each month)
- Facilitation will be decided by the group
- Each team will be provided money for resources
- Each team (and individuals) will share their discoveries during various Pro D Days throughout the school year.
- Teachers who wish NOT join a team can purse a topic individually. They will be expected to use the allocated time as well as share their learning with the staff.
We honor teachers as professionals. They are capable of choosing a learning topic they find useful and necessary to make them better practitioners. They will be given contracted to time to cultivate this learning in a collaborative setting. Teachers will be motivated and empowered to stretch their learning.
Teams of teachers will become “building experts”. Teams will have autonomy to select resources and format of the collaborative time. Each team will present and sharing their “expertise” (successes, challenges, etc.) with the staff (and parents?) at various times throughout the school year.
Your Feedback Please
We are in the draft/discussion stage of this plan and am continuing to received feedback from some of my staff. I was also hoping to receive feedback from my extended PLN.
Any comments or questions would be greatly appreciated!