This month, we’ve highlighted our Innovageous approach to professional development and given you insight into how we plan and implement sessions with our partners. As we wrap up this series of blogs on PD, we want to share some ideas for how our school partners are sustaining the impact of professional learning beyond our time facilitating. So many times educators participate in workshops on vital topics, but the efforts to ensure that there is carry over into classrooms or program environments is minimal. Further, leaders don’t always have the tools to inspect what they expect to occur as a result of professional learning & development.
Our team makes professional development both reflective and actionable. After each session, educators walk away with strategies, practical tools, and moves they can make in their instructional planning, classroom environment, and teaching right away. We incorporate intentional time for discussion, application, and reflection into each session, and we always end with an ‘exit ticket’ that has teachers share a final thought and intention related to how they will put into practice what they learned from the session. To further implementation in classrooms, we develop tools and resources that can be used with students or for further learning by educators.
While we always encourage and highly value leaders' participation in professional development sessions alongside their staff, we recognize that sometimes daily actions and needs across the school can get in the way. Regardless of whether a leader is in our session or was unable to attend, their follow up with teachers is vital to its success with carryover into the school community. Our team has actively been building our library of accountability and progress monitoring tools that connect to many common topics we focus on through professional learning. These tools allow leaders to follow up with discussions, engage teachers in goal setting, and have focused indicators for classroom walkthroughs.
Here are some examples of what this looks like:
As a follow up to a session to review steps for launching the year with success, our team created a one-stop-shop of templates, podcasts, and articles related to specific teacher actions such as providing clear directions, and gaining student attention. Additionally, the school leader received a goal-setting survey to be shared with teachers and completed during a PLC to document the specific actions that the principal would see in action during the first week of school.
Teachers participated in a session to help them deepen understanding of why intellectual preparation is important to their planning for instruction, and the steps they can take to ensure quality intellectual preparation. A protocol was provided to teachers that they can use as individuals, or as teams, while they become more comfortable with the steps associated with intellectual preparation. Since leaders likely don’t have the capacity to be present for every teachers’ planning time, we wanted to ensure that leaders had the tools to engage teachers in follow up reflective discussions. Leaders were provided with a bank of questions and prompts that they could use in the moment with teachers to check in on their growth with intellectually preparing for instruction.
As a follow up from a session on student engagement and total participation techniques, our team provided all educators with a diverse set of hold up card templates they could use with their students. Leaders received a list of indicators they could look for during classroom walkthroughs and observations progress monitor implementation of total participation techniques.
At Innovageous, we live into our core value of Lifelong Learning by ensuring our partnerships include sustainable solutions. Though impactful and engaging on their own, our PD sessions are most beneficial to staff and students when learning continues beyond the PD sessions. We work with our partners to intentionally plan from the beginning how the work will affect long lasting change at their organization.