ALTERNATE Professional Learning

Learning never ends. Educators tell their students that often, but it is also true for them as educational professionals. Professional learning needs to be about the learning, just like it should be for students in the classroom. According to the Center for Public Education (Gulamhussein, 2013), The 5 Key Principles of Effective Professional Learning include duration, support, active learning, modeling, and specificity. I have focused on these principles In planning my Alternate Professional Learning where the goal is to equip my Middle School Core Teachers (grades 6 through 8) with the tools, knowledge and resources to incorporate student-centered blended learning that utilizes choice, ownership and voice to create an effective and engaging learning environment. The time is NOW to implement this change not only incorporating blended learning into the classroom but to rethink the way we conduct professional learning (PL) for our staff. By adding these principle elements into our PL, we can increase the chance that teachers will truly integrate the new information or strategy into their classrooms, thereby changing campus culture and learning environments. The time is RIPE to make significant changes here at our district – the Instructional team is all brand new and ready to improve learning for staff and students. Below is my deployment plan overview for the upcoming school year as well as the stages of implementation that have been shared with the new Instructional Leadership team:

Let’s Do This!!

Design Models, Goals and the WHY!

I have created an overview of the year-long professional learning course that the Middle School Teachers (grades 6-8) will participate in over the upcoming school year. The goal for this professional learning course will be to unlearn outdated, antiquated “sit and get” teaching so that educators can adapt their classroom practices and procedures to incorporate blended learning that utilizes choice, ownership and voice. 

I started with the BHAG, Big Hairy Audacious Goal, and worked backwards from there to plan the professional learning. Coming up with the BHAG first allowed me to keep my end goal in sight and focus all outcomes, activities, and assessments on designing cohesive units with strong goals where my learners can connect the dots and learn blended learning strategies based on their curriculum context in an engaging environment.

The UBD design above is an outline of PL Day 1 (whole group). The UBD design incorporates within the third stage, the “WHERETO” elements.  This helps to ensure that all the parts are included in the lesson design process (the “why”, hook and hold the learner, reflect/rethink/revise, evaluate,  tailor to the learner and organize for deeper understanding).




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