Let’s Upgrade Professional Learning #SAVMP
In #SAVMP last week, we explored the ways that we can enhance and differentiate professional learning for educators. Similarly, as teachers do for learners, we must model this successful implementation for our professional development opportunities. Lecture and “sit and get” MUST be dismissed as learning methods for educators too! Although, it will take significantly more time to customize and to cater learning for a large staff, the real purpose of professional learning will be accomplished.
I have a few ideas:
- Teachers have credibility with other teachers. Tap into that source. There are always exemplars on every campus and should be the first stop for shaping professional learning. Although this is a crucial component, it should only be the first step of many steps to convert the campus into a professional learning network of connected educators. The exemplars model for other teachers and are then challenged to team with another colleague on the next learning opportunity. Or more beneficial, the next generation of exemplars should lead their own session. The growth will be exponential. The buy-in and value will be immeasurable.
- Passions and interests play a crucial role in who we are. Give educators an hour or two of self-directed learning with each professional development day. Allow this to be opened-ended and customize a reflection time with other educators, not for accountability, but to grow and diversify others through sharing passions and interests.
- Professional learning should be genuinely assessed for honest feedback. And, validate that the reflection is meaningful. Stop with paper surveys and Google forms for real feedback. At best, that information is only valid for data to support successes or areas of growth of the professional learning day. Speak with the naysayers. Be vulnerable with a critical friend to understand growth opportunities. Show others (quite literally) that you are listening and change things up!
No matter the impact on your campus, we must upgrade professional learning and begin to make the time meaningful and of value for the people that matter most on this day: the educators.