This course has been a wonderful time for me to reflect on our current practices at school. Our focus has been on effective professional learning (PL) and how most teacher PL is ineffective because it is “sit and get” and does not allow teachers the time or support to wrestle with a new strategy. We were asked to come up with a professional learning plan for our school. In my particular role I have the opportunity to be a part of the Leadership Team as well as serve as an instructional coach. I have found that I have a bit more autonomy in my coaching role than I do as part of the Leadership Team so I developed my PL plan as a coach and then started trying to think of how I would like to flesh out our current PL plan that deals with formative assessment data and Peer to Peer learning. My UbD template for both of these can be found here.
Based on the current culture and climate of my school, I felt my professional learning focus would be most successful if I work with a very small number of teachers rather than a larger group. I will be starting with one teacher in January 2017 and expanding out from there. She teaches 7th grade science and has already said I am more than welcome to be in her class anytime. She feels that her current method of teaching is not reaching the students. She is open to trying anything new-which is exciting as an instructional coach! A more details look at my plan can be found here.
I’m hoping that this particular coaching cycle will be a foot in the door to revamp some of the PL in my school. Currently, we tend to do things as a Team Learning group which is by grade level. We have a 45 minute session and then teachers are released to “go forth and conquer”. This is difficult when trying to implement a new strategy. Did the teachers really understand HOW to do this? or WHY we are doing this? or WHAT we are doing? We tried this model when we first rolled our our blended learning initiative. Based on the results, I created a presentation to share with my admin on some potential next steps.
As seen in my UbD template, I’m hopeful that we can begin moving towards a more personalized Professional Learning model for the whole school. However, I will continue to affect change where I am able to through my coaching cycles. The teacher I am collaborating is willing to try a new online, gamified genetics program called Geniverse. In addition to trying this program, we will both be leading small-group instruction based off of formative assessment data. Some resources I may use throughout our work together to guide our conversation around using Geniverse, formative data usage, and engagement can be found here.