“Action is the foundational key to all success.” By Anthony Robbins
Last week I talked about why we need to Reframe a Paradigm for Professional Learning. This week I share with you some ideas of how to do this in your schools/districts. We should be modeling what you want to see changed in the classroom. Here are three ways to model.
Face to Face (F2F): Traditionally in a F2F professional development it is a sit and get and the instructor teachers to the average. In a F2F professional learning educators should take a pre-assessment and the instructor should use that data to drive the instruction and next steps. Just because it is F2F doesn’t mean it should be one and done; this is a misconception. F2F should meet throughout the year, just like a classroom, but they should not sit through lessons/skills they already know.
Virtual: Virtual allows for anytime, self paced choice for educators to choose what they want to learn based on their needs.
Micro-Credentials: Micro-credentials allows educators to receive ‘badges’ signifying mastery of a specific skill. This is a ‘newer’ concept in education. Learn more about Micro-credential from these school districts that are using it: Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Personalized Learning Department, Kettle Moraine School District and Surry County.
Six ways to offer professional learning that are not sit-and-get with resources to learn more on how to implement.
- Edcamps: No budget, no problem! Try this unconference style!
- Pineapple Board: Utilize your school days without making “professional learning” an event or another meeting.
- Book Studies in the Cloud: New twist on an older professional development.
- Instructional Coaching: Job embedded Professional Learning based on teacher’s needs.
- Edu Breakout: Gamify your professional learning into experiences.
- Student Protocol: Improving the way teachers look at student work through PLCs.
Here are three other ideas:
- Teacher and/or Student Showcase: Have educators and/or students ‘share’ and ‘showcase’ something that is working well in the classroom. I have seen this done many different ways such as through old schools science fair style or through Ted Talk style approaches.
- Innovate Time: This is time you allow teachers to research something they are interested in implementing in the classroom. The Principal or another administrator teaches the class so the teacher ‘gains’ time to do this research.
- Project Based Learning (PBL): Educators can do action research to help improve their classroom instruction.
Do you have other ways that you, your school or district are doing professional development differently? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. ” By Benjamin Franklin
The research on professional development shows that the older “drive‐by” workshop model does not work. We also know that no two people learn the same way; yet many of us do not change the way we provide instruction for students nor professional development for teachers.
Just as we personalize education for students, we must also personalizing professional learning for adults. Notice I said professional learning, this is because I want to make a clear distinction between professional development and professional learning because to me, PD is a one and done verse professional learning improves educators professional knowledge, competence, skill and effectiveness.
Best practices for personalized professional learning closely parallels best practices for personalized learning for students. There are three key pieces we should be doing with professional learning opportunities for educators:
- Content: We need to relate the content to the classroom/school just like we relate content to real world for students as this is an educators ‘real world’. We also need to provide the learning goal and how it relates to the educator. For example explaining how it connects to their teacher evaluation.
- Data and Feedback: We need to meet educators where they are and we can use data to do that. Having educators take a pre-assessment on the topic of the professional learning will allow the educator to start where they should. Educators should also be able to ‘test out’ of professional learning opportunities if they can show mastery of the skill, competence etc.
- Learning Environment: We need to rethink time, duration, and frequency of professional learning. Professional learning should be continuous and ongoing, involving follow‐up and support meeting the teacher where they are in their teaching craft. Educators should have the option/choice of face to face, virtual or blended professional learning opportunities so they can learn in their best environment.
Here is an example of professional learning based on these three key pieces. If you want educators to learn about morning meeting you need to have a goal for the content: Example – I will be able to effectively implement Morning Meeting into my classroom. This correlates to standard II of the North Carolina Evaluation. Then you need to provide the option of allowing educators to show they have mastered this topic. This can be done multiple ways for example they can provide a video of them implementing morning meeting or they can have someone do an observation while they are conducting a morning meeting. For the educators that don’t ‘test out’ we need need to have a pre-assessment to see where educators are in their understanding of morning meeting. We need to use this data to place educators in the correct professional learning path based on their needs.
Next week I will share some of the other ways we can reframe the paradigm for professional learning!