Personalised learning for teachers…

Our strong beliefs about what comprises effective professional learning underpin the planning for our up-coming professional learning day, BY the teachers FOR the teachers…

We have so much knowledge, expertise and passion within – It’s not always necessary to depend on outside presenters to take our learning forward.

We begin by surveying the teacher-learners to find out what sort of learning opportunities they would prefer. The results indicate they’d like a combination of time to pursue their own interests independently and facilitated workshops addressing relevant topics of their choice.

So, our student- free day next Monday will look like this-

Session1 – Teachmeet.

In the traditional Teachmeet style, teachers will present for 2 or 7 minutes, sharing a tool, a strategy, an idea or an example of practice. Without the need for coercion, we have volunteers from every single grade level (and several from some!) on a range of topics, such as:

  • Team teaching
  • Effective search strategies
  • Capturing student thinking
  • Reading ideas
  • A variety of apps eg Book Creator and Explain Everything
  • An approach to home learning
  • Purposeful groupings
  • And more…

Session 2 – Workshops

Teachers choose to facilitate and/or participate in two out of eight one-hour workshops on topics of interest, identified through the survey. Workshops will be hands on, encouraging active group participation and opportunities for participants to construct meaning for themselves, on the following topics:

  • Twitter for global learning
  • Supporting kids with Dyslexia
  • Encouraging creative thinking
  • Provoking inquiry through great picture books
  • Open ended iPad apps for learning
  • Promoting social cohesion in the classroom
  • Exploring ePortfolios
  • Using data to inform teaching and learning

Session 3 – Personal learning 

Teachers choose to collaborate in teams or work individually on anything they like. For many, this is a continuation of previous personal learning time but some have chosen new areas for inquiry and others will use the time to apply their learning from the morning sessions. Ideas are as diverse as:

  • Positive psychology and student wellbeing
  • Using animation to express learning
  • Harvard research into thinking and learning
  • Vocabulary enrichment
  • Augmented reality
  • Building resources for Maths inquiry
  • How to encourage ownership of learning and student voice

As always, we have dismissed the notion that one size fits all, and ensured that our learning principles underpin, not just student learning at our school, but our own professional learning too.

Our learning principles –

  • We learn in different ways, depending on abilities, preferences and interests.
  • Learning takes place through inquiry: questioning, exploring, experimenting and problem solving.
  • Learning occurs by acquiring skills and knowledge, constructing meaning and transfer to other contexts.
  • Learning is active and social and best takes place through collaboration and interaction.
  • Learning needs to be challenging, meaningful, purposeful and engaging.
  • Learning includes meta-cognition and reflection, and requires learners to take ownership of their learning.

We’ll ask everyone to reflect at the end of day, not just on what they have learned, but on what they notice about themselves as learners and on the process of learning itself.

If you’re in Melbourne and excited by the potential to be a part of this vibrant learning community, see my previous post.

10 thoughts on “Personalised learning for teachers…

  1. Sounds like a brilliant day to me ! A great model for a well rounded professional learning day. It made me wonder if our students days could look similar?
    Regards

    Celia

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  2. I hope your day runs as fantastically as it sounds. I could happily have one of these days a fortnight given the rate of change in my practice at the moment! I’m excited by how the way I teach is constantly being challenged with regular practice analysis conversations, on-going subject specific PD blending inquiry practices and 21st century thinking ideas etc but it’s mostly after school and most of my personal inquiry is late at night or carved out of my weekend and holidays. Days like this really value and give teachers what they are so lacking in – time to think. (Our school system doesn’t give teachers free periods during the day as I know many do.)
    Coincidentally this idea connects to some other blog surfing I’ve been doing today; a conversation that had resulted from a tweet from someone undergoing a one size fits all session PD session. How you are structuring your day is pretty much exactly the suggested improvements. A teacher self-led or small group idea had really spoken to me, so it was exciting to see your session 3 idea.
    What I love about this kind of PD structure is that it much better matches the exciting and empowering learning opportunities our students are offered. Also as you mention there is such a wealth of in-school expertise so it is wonderful to see it being publicly valued.

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  3. It is definitely the route PD should take in all schools. I wonder if you ask each teacher to give their plan for the day prior to the PD day and if you ask for a written form for the reflection or it is just suggested that teachers reflect on their PD day?

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    1. We used to ask for a more detailed plan than we do now. It’s pretty much built on trust. We know our teachers value the time and it’s enough for them to say what they plan to be working on. Brief reflections are usually gathered via a google form.

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