A Day of Learning.

Our district has added a number of Professional Learning Days.  We eliminated the words ‘Professional Development’ in favor of Professional Learning in our Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Actually wrote about the difference between these two ideas.

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 11.51.39 AMToday is one of our Professional Learning Days.  And here’s how it went.  Each of our schools selected the topics most relevant to them, their learners, and their educators.  Some did this via survey.  Others through Instructional Leadership Teams.  None of them were told what to do by ‘the district’.  Two of our elementary schools chose to learn and work together. Among other things, they were working on DOK and standards based grading. Our high school chose to do a Poverty Simulation.  We arrived in time to hear the debrief of the morning.  Clearly had an effect on the good hearts of the educators.  Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 11.52.34 AM.png

Our primary school and middle school were both working on Learning Targets.  What makes a good one.  How what a kid is supposed to be ‘doing’ is different than what a kid is supposed to be ‘learning’.  This turn of phrase changes the whole question you ask a kid.  What are you learning today vs. what are you doing today?  What does it look and sound like to a kid/teacher when the student has hit the learning target?  What does it look and sound like to a kid/teacher when a kid is approaching hitting the learning target?  The conversations around these topics were rich, deep, and powerful.

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Our junior high staff members were sharing work.  Looking at and sharing WICOR strategies.  Learning and sharing with each other.  Because it’s important and relevant to the work they are doing with their kids at their school with each other.

Our educators are learning leaders.  They get it.  They don’t wait for someone to ‘develop’ them.  They have college degrees, know their students, and know what they need to know more about to give more kids better opportunities to learn and grow.

Sounds about right.

Author: Jnelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 39 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 8 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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