We spent some time this morning analyzing cultural shifts in our work using the Solution Tree document below. I really liked thinking about what successes I had this year and what growth could still be made in my work with PLCs, with teachers, and with professional development culture.
As I am working on writing curriculum, I am excited for the shift “from providing individual teachers with curriculum documents such as state standards and curriculum guides…to engaging collaborative teams in building shared knowledge regarding essential curriculum” (page 187).
I also have found myself moving “from the expectation that learning occurs infrequently (on the few days devoted to professional development)…to an expectation that learning is ongoing and occurs as part of routine work practice” (page 189). I have continued to seek out more PDs, explore Twitter regularly, and reflect upon these to improve myself and discuss ideas with teachers.
One thing I want to continue to grow in is “from teachers gathering data from their individually constructed tests in order to assign grades…to collaborative teams acquiring information from common assessments in order to (1) inform their individual and collective practice, and (2) respond to students who need additional time and support” (page 188). I want to help teachers find more authentic ways to answer this PLC question #3 and support these students who need differentiated learning when they still don’t understand.
Finally, as I plan PD I want to work to move “from assessing impact on the basis of teacher satisfaction (“Did you like it?”)…to assessing impact on the basis of evidence of improved student learning (page 189). This means following up more with teachers after PDs, being in specific classes of the teachers who attended, and creating a measuring tool for PD effectiveness.
I want to challenge teachers, PLCs, campus leaders, and school administrators to take a look at this document to celebrate your successes this year and then identify shifts you want to make next year. I think it’s important to focus on the shifts that are in your zone of control. What shifts did you make in your classroom/PLC/organization that make you proud? How did you do it? What goals do you have for next year? How will you make those shifts? Who can you work with to make these happen? What are some first steps to get you there?