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Growing as Educators: Making the Shift to a Culture of Professional Learning

There is no more important investment in yourself or your educator colleagues than the time spent in high quality professional learning.  You will notice in the professional literature a shift away from the term “professional development” that often implies short, isolated events that reflect the traditional mindset of something that is done to educators, often in one day workshops or a few required sessions.  The traditional professional development has often focused only on the implementation of programs, was planned by others and delivered to the teacher team and was largely disconnected to the ongoing strengths and needs of the educators and the students .  In addition, often the professional development did not include the follow up of in-class coaching that allows teachers to apply the learning with support for success.

Group of teachers working together.

Fortunately, you will notice a current shift to thinking more systemically about how professional learning is related to the continuous growth of teacher expertise and evidenced in improved student outcomes. The more useful term, “professional learning” implies a thoughtful design that is part of the school’s shared vision, values, and beliefs and reflects collaboration in planning, participation, and evaluation. It is connected to the school’s goals and to student data so it is coherent and relevant. Its multidimensional design reflects the standards of professional learning that are grounded in current research and reflects active, collaborative, high quality adult learning (see Standards for Professional Learning, 2022), collective team and teacher efficacy, and its relationship to the continuous improvement of student outcomes.

You are invited for a conversation–

Our Lesley team facilitates a variety of science-aligned, research-based professional learning opportunities virtually and in person and provides customized planning, facilitation of professional learning and impactful coaching in your school. We invite you and any members of your team to schedule a conversation with us so we can plan how to support your next steps in expanding teacher expertise and leveling up the literacy outcomes of the students in your school.

References
Learning Forward. Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH, Learning Forward, 2022

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