Last year I enlisted my PLN in helping me with my professional growth. I found it to be extremely helpful to keep me on task and accountable for my own learning. I think professional learning and growth is a cornerstone to who we are as educators. If we want our students be learners, I believe modelling ongoing and continuous learning is essential.
This year our district is going a little more formal with our professional learning. Each administrator is expected to embark on a professional growth plan. The message is clear – growth plans have nothing to do with evaluation and everything to do with learning. We have been asked to work in triads with other admin to discuss and promote our learning. I am feeling pretty excited about the model.
In August we had a short retreat and the focus was on using the Leadership Standards from the BCPVPA to focus our learning. Last Spring we our group completed a self evaluation of where we felt we were in respect to each standard. Heading into the retreat I was pretty confident that I knew where my professional learning was headed…in my mind I was already crafting this post.
Moving into our triads, I joined two other Summerland Admins - Jason Corday and Chris Van Bergeyk and figured we would get right down to planning. As we started talking, both Chris and Jay spoke about the importance of engaging their staff in the converstation. They were concerned there may be a disconnect between their perceptions and that of the people they work alongside. The thought had not occurred to me, but it sure made a lot of sense. As we sat there talking, Chris downloaded and created a Survey Monkey account and we were on our way. Check out this link for our finished product. A huge thanks to Chris, as he did most of the inputting and crafting of questions.
A couple of weeks ago we sent the surveys off to our schools and started getting immediate feedback. We all share the account, so we can also check on each others surveys. We have talked about the results and the best ways to collate the information to make it meaningful. We are at the point now where the three of us have our information and now we must decide where we want our learning to take us. We are meeting over breakfast next week to talk about the next steps in our learning. We want to be able to share our professional learning plans at our October staff meetings.
The process is new to me, but here is what I really like so far:
1) The ongoing dialogue with others going through the same process. The conversations have caused me to not only reflect on my own learning, but how we want to pursue professional learning as a school. I appreciate the honest and candid conversations we have already engaged in.
2) The feedback from staff has been great. I feel that it has been honest and I am pleasantly surprised that the areas of growth the staff keyed in on were the same areas that I felt I needed to do a better job of.
3) Even more accountability for me. First, it is a district initiative, so I have to share with our superintendant. I also am accountable to Jason and Chris to be a part of their learning and hold up my end. Eliciting input and sharing with the teachers on staff also puts in another level of accountabiltiy. Finally, blogging about it also involves my PLN in the process.
In the end, I am very excited about this year and the learning I am going to embark on. All that, and I still don’t have a specific plan :-). Having said that, give me another week or so and I will.