Teaching and learning. Professional learning. Leading learning. All of this means nothing without achieving better student learning. And so I begin the challenge of developing a Teaching & Learning (TL) Professional Learning program to develop staff at my school to better support student learning at my school. Simple, right?
Status update on where my school is currently. Up until two years ago, our TL programs for staff development have had a strong Gifted and Talented education focus and a significant ICT focus, underpinned by the Quality Teaching model. So we’ve covered it all? In parts, but not completely. I still feel that there are many gaps and staff are all at very different stages of their own development in terms of new teaching and learning skills in the classroom. New staff with new skills and varied experiences have also joined the school. So why not capitalise on this and individualise for a change?
So here’s the basic model I’ve come up with and I would very much appreciate any feedback, suggestions and comments. I’m thinking kind of like specific Personal Learning Plans, but with the sole purpose of staff analysing their own TL headspace.
Designed to focus on what individual teachers want to learn and improve in their teaching space (hence the ‘space’ theme) and called ‘Launching Learning’, here’s what I have so far:
- PARTICIPATE in a ‘pay-it-forward’ style of lesson observation
- OBSERVE a lesson once a semester by another teacher (preferably out of faculty) based on class/year group, ICT use/new activity. Lesson choice to be about a teaching element, rather than content/subject
- ENGAGE in discussion with the teacher of that lesson to enable reflection and analysis of the lesson observed
- NOMINATE a lesson once a semester to be observed by any teacher in the school
- ENGAGE in discussion with the observer of that lesson to enable reflection and evaluation of the lesson taught.
- IDENTIFY an area of faculty skill development (classroom focus) as outlined in Faculty Management plans, in alignment with School Management Plan.
- ESTABLISH one faculty workshop per semester to focus on specific skill development for the classroom as deemed a priority by the HT’s & faculty i.e. classroom management, new/improved use of ICT elements
- REFLECT on the Discover Strand activities in TARS (Teacher Assessment and Review Schedule) meetings
I would also like to award badges, based on space mission badges, for staff achievement via out Edmodo group based on participation in the above processes and other Professional Learning activities.
Still working out the finer points, but planning to officially launch the program soon – so T minus three weeks and counting!