Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sick and Still Tweeting, Blogging and learning.

For the past 3 days I've been sick with the stomach flu, with massive headaches, upset stomach, and fever.  There was 3 days of bed rest, but thank goodness with my IPad.  I've been reading articles, writing blog entries, emailing my colleagues web sites that may help them with their learning goals, and more.  Does this make me sick in the head as well?

What it makes me is a lifelong learner, someone driven to continue to learn and be a better teacher.  I'm not alone in this manner.  Many of my colleagues do the same thing, tweeting others to discuss something they learned, asking for help at school, reading articles, signing out research books from our Professional Development Library, and more.  Everyone helps everyone in our school, evident in the Professional Development day yesterday, where many colleagues stepped in to help train each other, sharing their knowledge, their ideas, etc. 

That makes our school an exciting place to work at.  It also still makes me sick in the head, and still a little sick in my stomach....  Going to stop blogging now....  ;)

Individual Goals of our School

Someone Requested that I publish this again in regards to individual Goals for Professional Development for staff, so I thought I would do it again.  So here it is...

The school is on the upswing of considering goals, what the staff wish to develop this year, and where they wish to grow professionally. Teachers took some time and seriously considered their answers when filling out a questionnaire that helped guide them to what learning they wished to pursue.  It's an revised list from the first year the Professional Development committee did this last year (see this link to visit the first document).  The document was created to generate thinking, dig deep into what staff was considering doing, and also to help the Professional Development Committee put together networks at our school and outside of our school to continue the learning.  A copy was given to the Pro D committee, a list was comprised, and pairing started to happen, as well as giving out of resources online and in our school to help them with their learning.  From the data received, this Pro D we held workshops on Blogging, Twitter, and learning how to use a Document Reader. 

 The list of goals is long but when you look at it in total, there is a common theme.  Most of the research is in the manner of learning how to improve communication with students, teachers, and parents, in their assessment, their aide at home, and in their learning with new networks of teachers both inside the school and outside the school, for the purpose of building networks of learning and support for the students, with the students.  The goal is to create student ownership and pride in their learning, creating independent and confident learners.  

This does seem like a lofty goal, but one that can be achieved by many of our staff.  Below is an example of the goal sheets teachers filled out.

I hope this information helps you to change the paradigm of learning in our school.  The staff's pride in their school and in their learning is evident.

Teacher's Goal Sheets

Teacher Initiative for Professional Success –
One Step at a Time
Individual Professional Development Plan

Name: ___________________________________________________________
Date: ____________________________________________________________

1.     Who You Are Use the diagram below to briefly outline your strengths, weaknesses, interests and experience as they relate to your professional life.


2.     What You Want: Write your professional goal statement
This year I want to…

3.     Why You Want It: Provide a rationale
I want to achieve this goal so I can…

4.     How Does It Fit: Describe the connection between this goal and your teaching assignment.

5.     How You’ll Achieve It: Set a plan
To reach this goal, I will…

6.    What Will Help You: Identify allies and resources
The following can help me achieve my goal:
PEOPLE (colleagues in this school & elsewhere, parents, district personnel, other school districts, etc.)

BOOKS (don’t forget to check out our professional library and/or recommend titles)


7.     Assessment
What would progress on this goal look like in terms of your teaching practice? How will you know when you have grown in your learning?  What can you show to other teachers to substantiate your growth?

8.     Professional Experiences I Want to Have

9.     Things I Want to Do Less (Or Stop Doing) in My Teaching Practice

10. Things I Want to Do More (Or Start Doing) in My Teaching Practice

11. Things I Want to Learn About

Revised from Nicole Painchaud, Jennifer Spain, 2012  and Jim Burke, The Teacher’s Daybook, (Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH); 2012

Professional Development for Sullivan Heights

We've had a huge success story about Sullivan Heights in regards to our individual plans of Professional Development of our teachers, letting them choose what they want to work on, considering that every teacher has different strengths and weaknesses, this only makes sense to us.  Teachers are more involved, more motivated because this is what they want to learn, and through our Grant we supply them with the material and support they need to grow and help change our school environment as well as their teaching practises.

We've done a lot of work on technology in our classrooms, as well as new methods of assessment, goal orientation and a lot more.  Now we're on to the next step, seeing if what we're doing is making a difference.  The only way to do that is through assessment again, but this time of our own practises.

The question is "Has the learning that the teacher done made a difference in our school?"  Although you can sometimes see this difference right away, there could be a number of other factors that have affected the student to make the change, so this year not only are teachers setting their individual goals but they are now using the SMART technique to assess if what they are trying to accomplish is making a difference.  Goals need to be clear, attainable, and measurable.  We need to share with colleagues in our school and outside of the school.  Although we started to do this last year (with some data showing a difference in some of the teachers learning) our goal is to increase the research basis of our learning, and to prove that we are making a difference with good solid data.  This is our goal for the end of the year, to show solid data on our blogs.  Is that a good enough SMART goal for you?  ;)

See the Prezi below for our intro in September....