The last 5 weeks, I have been working on a plan to modify an existing practice at my school we call “Curriculum Committees”. I have taken what we currently have in place, which is a great way for teachers to learn from each other, and changed a few components to reflect Gullamhussein’s 5 Principles of Professional Learning. You can read her research here if you are interested in all the research and numbers behind her ideas.
When I was thinking of a PL (professional learning) idea, I immediately went to something that we already do because I know the faculty and administration are more comfortable with “tweeking” something that is already in place than just starting over with something new. My first step in the quest was to create my presentation. I used Google slides, a tool that I wasn’t as familiar with, to challenge myself to use something that I can use with both Windows and Mac. I sat down with my principal and went through the presentation last week, and she was on board with many of the ideas that I suggested to make these presentations more effective. Big sigh of relief there!
The next step, was to come up with an outline and timeline for what I was suggesting. So I planned out the 2017-2018 Curriculum Committee sessions. Most of the work I did before the conversation, so I did go back and edit based on the discussion that we had during my presentation. My principal had some good questions which helped me narrow my focus quite a bit. There were also some “sticking points” that we decided that we might have to work out in the course of the learning.
The final piece of the puzzle was to get the resources that I would need together to implement the plan. As some of the areas are still very loosely planned, I am sure I will have to add to my resources. I hope to at least some parts of this plan implemented in the next school year. I believe that I am being a voice for the other teachers on my campus, saying what others are not always comfortable saying, about the state of our PL. I am happy to take on that job, as long as I can.
At first, I felt like all the pieces of this plan were kind of a lot of busy work, but now having gone through it and actually trying to implement it, I see that it was all necessary to achieve my bigger goal of changing what PL looks like on my campus for the better.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my plan. Look for updates towards the end of this school year when I hope we can finalize some of the arrangement.
Gullamhussein, A. (n.d.). Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Testing. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Staffingstudents/Teaching-the-Teachers-Effective-Professional-Development-in-an-Era-of-High-Stakes-Accountability/Teaching-the-Teachers-Full-Report.pdf