For the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking and blogging about personal learning. I started by examining the topic as it pertains to students. My school has been thinking about personalized learning too. A group of teachers created a list of 10 Effective Learning Principals (ELPs) that serve as a toolkit for teachers to enhance student learning. If you look at the list, you’ll notice that many of the ELPs center around personal learning for students.
Through cross-divisional meetings, teachers and administrators worked collaboratively to discuss the ELPs and how one sees evidence of them in the classroom (from a 3 year old in PE to an 18 year old in IB Physics). But at the end of every personalized learning conversation, I always seem to ask the same question: If this is what we should be doing for kids, then why don’t we do the same thing for teachers? … and then, our school began to do just that. The wonderings that emerged from our discourse has resulted in a new teacher appraisal process. The teacher-directed Professional Learning Process will allow teacher autonomy as one takes the reign of their own personal learning. It’s like Genius Hour for teachers.
All of this inquiry around personal learning lead me to my COETAIL2 cohort. As a group, we’ve been engaged in deeper discussions about this topic. We’ve read and dialogued; questioned and reflected; wondered and debated. Our thoughts are outlined in the short slideshow below:
So you may wonder why all this set up? Well, let me tell you.
All of this thinking has helped me to construct my own professional learning plan and look towards my professional future as an educator. I’ve designed a learning program around what excites me most about my job:
the kids I am going to spend the next 6 weeks inquiring about design thinking in the classroom. I will explore the theory behind design thinking and then work to help students move through the design process as they strive to come up with creative solutions to problems through prototype and design. From there, I will take risks to modify a generic PYP unit in to a technology-rich unit centered around an augmented reality sand box that has been percolating around in my brain for over a year.
my school community I am going to go on an 8-week quest to help my school develop a plan to educate parents about the new learning landscape that exists beyond the classroom walls. I want to explore ways to help our parent community effectively manage technology distractions while still embracing the creativity that allow students to express themselves and their passions in meaningful ways.
myself and my colleagues I love the feeling I get when I help a colleague. Whether it’s teaching them something new, collaborating with them to get an to fruition, or making suggestions that help improve their own learning journey– the feeling of watching someone succeed is truly magical. So I think I’m ready to take the leap and work towards the next chapter in my life. I’m ready to become an instructional coach. I will start by having discussions about the culture of coaching with administrators at my school. From there, I will explore different coaching models and what my role could look like.
I don’t think this journey is going to be an easy one. But my students, my school, and I am worth the effort!