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.
Today 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.
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.
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.