As you can see from the Outline of the year-long PL planned in my department, there are many topics covered – all of them stemming from my Wildly Important Goal (WIG)of bringing blended learning into each of our classrooms in order to make sure every child succeeds. You can read all about my innovative plan here if you missed it. I have seen the changes brought about by this type of teaching in just a short time in my classroom and I am so excited to share it with others! I will never go back to a teacher-centered, front facing classroom!
So I have multiple fun PL sessions planned. What will they look like? I’ll break down the format briefly here:
The PL Session: We start with a day long training for the entire department (the Power Point is an example of how they will be structured). It is active, it is engaging, it is interactive – there is no sit and get here! Go and show baby.
The session combines a few cycles of quick videos, walk and talk, circle and share, brainstorming activities, and then has them actually go through and experience what they are learning about. For the Google Slideshow click here, Slideshare version (videos don’t play within the slides ) click here
To hear me talk you through the session Power Point, view the video below:
Modeling: Next we allow for two class periods to go and observe the new method being used live in a classroom. This type of modeling has proven to be a very effective manner of helping teachers embrace a new strategy and try it on their own.
Hands-on Support: After they have had the chance to observe, they invite the coach / mentor in to assist them in implementing the method in their own classroom. The coach can do anything from running the whole class (and helping them prep it) to simply standing by and helping with unforeseen questions or situations. It all depends on the need and the comfort level. The coach is at their disposal for two classes.
Process Check: Finally, at the end of the month, we reconvene for a half-day “process check” PL. Here we debrief on how things went, we bring up issues and solutions, we brainstorm if needed…in short it’s the locker room talk after the game.
Ongoing support and collaboration: It’s important to provide teachers with ongoing learning during this time as well. I have set up a Google Classroom (code: kz2ub3 if you care to visit although it is nothing fancy yet!) which will have all of the materials from the PL session (on Google sites – another fantastic tool) as well as accompanying materials for each topic we cover throughout the year. People can post, ask questions, share and collaborate their discoveries as they embark on this new journey. A Google classroom is an easy way to allow for ongoing learning AND support to take place. They are never alone – providing this tool will further assure that implementation of new methods can take place.
Have I ever led a PL session? As of today – never. But I can tell you that I got very excited just creating the materials for one session, so I know that I am somehow on the right track with this, even though teaching teachers is so much more intimidating for me than teaching teenagers. I need to remember what Simon Sinek said: bring them a gift. This isn’t even about me! It’s about what I can gift to them. With the focus on them and not on my own inadequacies, I believe I can share something of value with our department and thus with our students.