guide the growth of leaders and faculty.
We created our template for the plan
using the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning (www.
learningforward.org). The plan makes
use of reflection, data, and discovery
to capture evidence of the outcomes
and document how leaders plan and
implement professional learning in
each building. The planning process
also leads to greater efficiency in prior-itizing the resources we need to fund,
scale, and replicate desired results.
Ongoing Learning and Growth
After integrating an online educator evaluation management system,
our district is now comprehensively
planning, managing, and evaluating
the impact of our professional learning initiatives while easily managing
the whole educator appraisal process.
Our use of this tool plus the PDMS
forms a complete and integrated cycle
of ongoing educator learning and
growth. The technology facilitates staff
reflection and tracks how teachers are
applying new knowledge and skills in
their teaching. It then collects evidence
of effectiveness in terms of changes in
teacher practice and student learning.
The role of “external assistance,”
such as conference participation and
technology solutions, becomes clearly
delineated and focused with these
tools. To further support our site-based learning, we are also piloting a
learning walkthrough tool using a feature within our online educator evaluation management system. We use the
forms and workflow in this system to
manage our standard appraisal process, in addition to providing regular
feedback and targeted professional
learning throughout the year.
Our technology systems have not
only enabled meaningful professional learning, but also have been the
catalyst for cultural changes, as our
teachers are now seeking connections
between their own learning and classroom application and student results.
In a time when we must make
stronger and more visible connections
between educator learning and student
learning, a PDMS enabled my district
to save time and money while ensuring that our professional learning expenditures were highly focused on the
adult learning experiences that make a
difference. In these lean times, I know
that we’re all interested in using technology to maximize limited dollars by
providing data about what kind of professional learning is having an effect.
By doing this, we have identified what
specific teacher learning opportunities
and structures we should fully support
to increase student learning.
Janet K. Neufeld previously served as the assistant super- intendent of the Newton Pub- lic Schools in Kansas, USA.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, learning is
the best thing you can do to improve yourself. We
believe in learning. All kinds of learning for all kinds
of students, delivered in a personal style. Because
wherever learning flourishes, so do people.
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