In my current DLL course, I am working to improve professional learning. Change is needed in this area, ask any teacher and they would agree. Most of what is offered as professional development misses the mark and ends up being a handout that is taken home and thrown away, or stuck in a desk drawer.
After reading Allison Gulamhussein's article on effective professional development, I have realized the direction I need to go with professional learning. My innovation plan centers around bringing blended learning to my school and district. My goal is to create effective professional learning for my teachers that they can use to bring my innovation plan to life. For this PL to be effective, I will be applying Gulamhussein's five principles of effective professional development to my plan. You can read more about these five principles below.
My what: Professional learning that is relevant and engaging
Change is difficult. Change through professional learning does not have to be. I am bringing blended learning to a campus with varying levels technological expertise, so there will be teaching in both the use of technology and the understanding of blended learning and how to apply it. I can think of no better way to teach blended learning than through a series of blended learning activities and lessons. Teachers and administration will learn through doing, and will gain insights into what their students will be able to do with blended learning. A key principle of effective professional development is modeling, and these blended lessons are a way to model how blended learning works as well as showing what is possible through blended lessons.
Below, I have included my call to action for effective professional development. This video is meant to emphasize the need for change in professional learning, highlight the five key principles for effective professional development, and show how blended learning can be applied to professional development. You can also check out some of the work from the behind the scenes that went into the making of this video here.
My how: Effective professional learning through coaching
Creating professional learning that is effective begins with a detailed plan. I have included an outline that adheres closely to Gulamhussein's five principles of effective professional development. The plan centers around first training teacher coaches and administration in the use of blended learning, and then deploying the trained teacher coaches and administrators to help train and support other teachers in blended learning. I designed the first phase of my plan which focuses on training the teacher coaches and administration using the UbD template. The second phase will focus on training the rest of the teachers on our campus. I have included a schedule of this professional learning that includes live links to resources for the first several meetings.
The use of teacher coaches and trained administrators to roll out my blended learning PL will yield benefits for those in coaching roles and those who are learning. The coaches and administration will become supports for teachers once they begin implementation and they will also be able to deepen their understanding of blended learning and the importance of supportive leadership in our organization. This plan will also support collaboration between teacher coaches, administration, and teachers through the blended activities. Discussion, collaborative design, and sharing are integral to the design of blended learning and will benefit all stakeholders involved in this professional learning.
Gulamhussein, A. (n.d.). Teaching effective professional development in an era of high Stakes ACCOUNTABILITY read the REPORT Center for public education. Academia.edu. https://www.academia.edu/28440314/Teaching_Effective_Professional_ Development_in_an_Era_of_High_Stakes_Accountability_READ_THE_REPORT_Center_for_Public_Education.