This week we learned why one IC believes Zoom PD may be a preferred method moving forward, four techniques for creating differentiated PD sessions, the importance of honoring teachers as agents of change, and more. Enjoy! 😀
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"In our feedback from staff members, we found overwhelming evidence of positivity towards Zoom PD sessions. . . . While words might float in one ear and out the other at in-person professional learning, virtual presentations create opportunities for review. Virtual presentations can be recorded, slides and links shared more readily with each other, and chats saved for the group. The learners had a sense that their learning is not a one-and-done, and it can be reviewed again and again."
"Asking our teachers what they really needed to be successful during the year and then tailoring the professional development to their needs changed the dynamic of our professional development dramatically: We went from throwing darts at the wall, hoping one of them would stick, to precision throws aimed right at a target."
"Coaching with the Gradual Increase of Responsibility Model increases teachers' role in their own professional learning. . . . The Model is a coaching guide for choosing the right level of support for instructional decision-making – support that guides, challenges, or affirms to ensure that teachers are empowered and students consistently experience effective instruction. Teachers' agency is honored and their efficacy increases as they design and witness improved instruction."
"Peer coaching breaks the isolation and opens the doors to celebrations that build perseverance, teamwork, and collective teacher efficacy. Today's celebrated successes provide strength during challenging times. . . . Celebrating a magical learning moment that a coach observed is worth the 'cost' of coaching."
"Now more than ever, educators should feel empowered to make decisions which prove beneficial to encourage differentiation and independent student learning. Launch a process for strategically identifying needs and aligning the professional development according to the gaps identified within the curriculum and instruction. This will leverage data and lead to 'ah-ha's' regarding why students are struggling to make academic progress and why student proficiency rates remain static."
Robert Feirsen and Seth Weitzman cover a few responses to conflict principals can practice to honor different voices and opinions that create harmony.
"Conflict-agility necessitates language that on one hand depersonalizes conflict, and on the other hand respects everyone involved. The language a leader uses to frame an issue has critical implications and consequences. . . . Collectively, the school's or the school leader's strategies apply well-established attributes of conflict reduction: They build trust, create win-win situations, and engender a culture that is accepting of multiple voices."