Innovation Plan and Professional Learning:
My innovation plan has changed quite a bit over the past 18 months in order to support my administration in their vision. Originally, my innovation plan focused on supporting our blended learning initiative in Math and ELA and expanding it to Social Studies and Science; however, my Principal wanted to offer all subject areas this opportunity to change their instructional model. This change has been a challenge for me but one I have embraced as it is what is best for student learning.
There is no set completion date for my innovation project as it is an ongoing deepening of pedagogical practice. I am trying to work on supporting each teacher where they are and moving them forward in their blended practice. I am hoping to use tiered Professional Learning sessions next year instead of giving whole group Professional Learning. This personalized approach will be similar to what we are asking the teachers to do in their small-group station in their blended classrooms. Not only will this structure better support my teachers, it will also model the power of small-group instruction.
Throughout the creation of my innovation plan and the research to support my plan, I have realized how ineffective our/my past Professional Learnings at the school have been when done for the “whole”. Our teachers need so much more personalized support than what they received in the past. Between my literature review presentation and having been allowed to do several focused, in-depth PL sessions on formative assessments, I believe administration is on board with this model and, therefore, I will be able to implement my innovation plan better.
I am a huge fan of Allison Gulamhussein’s Teaching the Teacher report. I have used this to help bolster support for more in-depth Professional Learning. The PL is still not as in-depth as I would like but it is certainly better than the “one and done” sessions that have been used previously. With close to 60 teachers it becomes difficult to provide the full support needed but these small-group sessions combined with some individual or partner coaching cycles makes a big difference.
Moving forward, the promotion and communication of my innovation plan really needs to come from administration to the teachers. This way we are approaching it from “we’re all in this together”. Having administrative support in Professional Learning sessions does give it a little more oomph. I have had some great conversations this past school year with teachers I have worked with. These conversations will help me suggest our Professional Learning next year.
I know that whatever innovation plan I choose next needs to be implemented on a small scale first and then expanded. I feel the data from some of our coaching has show that there is more success when a small group of teachers try something new with strong support vs. the whole school with little support. I hope to have tiered Professional Learning sessions next year but time sometimes is an issue. If I can’t, I will continue to differentiate my Professional Learning sessions the best that I can to move teachers forward when implementing new strategies or technologies. I am using “Personalized PD: Flipping your professional development” to help
guide my work.
My goal is to move out of my current position. Since I don’t know where I will end up, I can’t say for certain what my next innovation plan will focus on. However, I feel confident that I have the tools and knowledge from my research and experience to be more successful than when I started.
Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the teachers: effective professional development in an era of high stakes accountability. Center for Public Education. Retrieved March 23, 2017, fromhttp://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Staffingstudents/Teaching-the-Teachers-Effective-Professional-Development-in-an-Era-of-High-Stakes-Accountability/Teaching-the-Teachers-Full-Report.pdf
Bretzmann, J., Bosch, K., Gustafson, D., Currie, B., Daniels, K., Conley, L., & Wilkoff, B. (2015). Personalized PD flipping your professional development. The Bretzmann Group.