Changes in Professional Learning

AppleSummer, sweet, sweet summer!  As you take time to relax this summer, I invite you to take time to reflect on the past year.  How was your year different than those in the past?  What were some of the most difficult days and why?  Which days were rewarding and why?

My past year was filled with changes, some not under my control, but some that I did control.  After being tenured and laid off from a high school science position, I spent last summer looking for a new position.  After a long summer with no prospects for the fall, I decided to go back to school to start working on my CAS.  Just as I started classes, I was asked to take on a long-term substitute position with no guaranteed endpoint.  So, there I was, first day of school, in a new school, but teaching the same subject.

Most of you spent last year focused on your SLO and worrying about your HEDI score for APPR.  I jumped in with both feet creating a new SLO and worrying about how effective I would be, not knowing my students and their families. After the first 10 weeks I ended up having the opportunity to work for OCM BOCES as a Network Team coordinator.  Talk about more changes!

As a Network Team coordinator, I was challenged to work with many different school districts, helping them to implement the Regents Reform initiatives: Culture, APPR, Data Driven Instruction, and the Common Core Learning Standards.  Training in Albany with NYSED helped me become more knowledgeable about these topics that I had experienced in various ways.

So, here I sit, reflecting on my year and the changes I’ve been through.  I’ve been thinking about my work with teachers and the changes we’ve all faced, including how much we’ve had to grow professionally to implement the Common Core and Data Driven Instruction.  I found this great article in the NYSASCD newsletter on Shifting Gears in Professional Learning by Carol Forman-Pemberton.  As I read it, I thought, “Wow, this really sums up the changes I’ve seen teachers make this year!”  The chart below sums up six shifts we’ve had to make as professionals.

Shift # Teachers used to… Teach now have to…
1 Work alone Focus and use both formative and summative assessments and relationships in their evaluation system
2 Implement Curriculum Build learning modules and scaffold learning systems
3 Assess students’ content mastery or isolated skill development Assess students’ learning over time and their capacity to use high level skills and process rigorous texts
4 Focus and report on summative evaluation of student learning Focus and use both formative and summative assessments and relationships in their evaluation system
5 Be evaluated in way “external” to teacher Participate in and offer evidence for standard and rubric based evaluation and multiple measures of teaching practice
6 Be subjected to imposed or serendipitous professional growth opportunities Select and participate in effective, ongoing, focused, differentiated, and collaborative professional learning

If you’d like to read the complete article, click on this link, Shifting Gears in Professional Learning.  Thanks Carol for the thoughtful piece.

I’d like to hear your thoughts and reflections on the year!

Keim_Joanne_SMALLJoanne Keim
OCM BOCES Network Team Coordinator

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