At the start of the Changemaker Program, Margaret, Courtney and Sarah thought it was unacceptable that professional learning for staff wasn’t driven by the needs of the staff involved in the learning, and that because staff were disengaged during PL and couldn’t see the relevance of it to their practice, the impact of the professional learning wasn’t being seen in the classroom.
Margaret, Courtney & Sarah’s Solution
Margaret, Courtney and Sarah believe in a school where staff have authorship over the development of creative, engaging and purposeful learning for themselves and their colleagues, and so they decided to personalise professional learning to make it more relevant and engaging for staff.
They started with an optional ‘buy in’ meeting for their colleagues, where they shared their ideas for changing the way the school was engaging in professional learning.
After this, they trialled different ways of delivering PL to see what worked, including Google Classroom, professional readings, optional workshops, and Genius Hour for staff where each teacher showcases an activity they’ve used in their classroom that promotes student engagement.
The team have collected data along the way so that they can understand the success of each learning method. Initial results suggest that all of the delivery methods have their place, depending on purpose and the content of the learning.
The next step for Margaret, Courtney and Sarah is to develop a Professional Learning policy where teachers develop Personal Learning Plans for themselves, set their own PL goals for the year and then complete a certain number of hours of PL, linked to the professional standards and the impact the learning is having in the classroom. This is a work in progress! They’ve also started to share their work with their Community of Schools, so that the model can be scaled once they’ve nailed it.
Margaret, Courtney & Sarah’s Impact
So far 100% of staff have engaged in PL which has changed the way they’ve taught, having an impact on the learning of about 400 students.
Courtney shared this story with us..
“Yesterday I ran a professional learning session and included in the group was a staff member who had traditionally been the most negative about PL. Throughout the session, she engaged in conversation and at the end of the workshop her feedback was around the session’s relevance to her practice, and how she would be taking a new approach in her classroom in the future. A small but meaningful win in how we have made progress in changing staff attitudes!”
Like the idea?
Margaret, Courtney & Sarah would love your support for Honouring Adult Learning Principles, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and they’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where they can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Margaret, Courtney & Sarah and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer them on in the comments below as well.
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