RE: Teaching and Learning
District Directed Training: Our principals worked with their instructional coaches and myself to plan and deliver some very power professional learning to our staff at the start of the school year. I am even more pleased to see how closely they worked together with their colleagues across grades and buildings. For instance, this year’s professional learning plans are intentionally putting middle school and high school content teachers together at tables to learn together about how to deliver more rigorous content instruction to our students. These conversations are highly valuable as we will build a more seamless secondary learning experience for our students.
Transforming Professional Learning: This fall our district was selected and invited to participate in a grant hosted by a very reputable professional development organization, Learning Forward. Learning Forward is the nation's leading authority on how to deliver effective professional development. As part of this grant a team of principals and teachers participated in a 2 day seminar that introduced us to standards for professional learning that can guide our planning and ensure our staff learning results in student learning. This training will be followed up with coaching from a Learning Forward representative who will support us in revising how we deliver our professional development. One significant shift our staff took away from the first training is to stop seeing professional development as an event, but as an ongoing learning. Thus you will begin to hear us talk more about professional learning, rather than professional development. We are also beginning to be more explicit about how we expect our staff learning to result in student learning, and then go out and collect student achievement data to evaluate if our professional learning is having the impact we intend.