Professional learning is both an individualized and social process of identifying meaning, shaping understandings, transforming practices, and sharing inspiration. Professional learning also helps craft a culture of tinkering, sharing, hacking, remixing, and collaborating that drives craftsmanship and ingenuity as a model for students and peers.
Change Element Goal: MCPS will foster and model a culture of dynamic learning and continuous growth that embraces change with an emphasis on teaching practices that support authentic learning experiences and assessments. The District will support professional learning that provides teachers flexibility to build professional goals related to their areas of interest and needs, and in alignment with MCPS’ 21st century goals.
Evidence: In every industry, leaders give careful consideration to the process of recruiting, inducting, and preserving the best talent possible. The cultivation of talent is dependent on meaningful professional learning opportunities. The model of professional learning in the form of standardized professional development (i.e., staff receive the exact same training at the same time) ignores that teachers have differing levels of expertise, expectations, and needs in their professional growth. It is sensible to provide teachers with flexibility to develop professionally and draw upon the talents and expertise of colleagues. Tucker suggests from his analysis of teacher quality across the globe that teachers must be people who do research, rather than be the researched (2011). That is, teachers must have the responsibility to drive the process forward rather than wait to see what the system will do to or for them.
2011–12 Recommended Actions:
· Staff will take responsibility for and develop personalized professional growth plans that incorporate 21st century instructional strategies.
· The District and Missoula Education Association will collaborate to develop criteria and a rubric for the six educator standards that can be used for reflection and self-assessment, as well as a basis for refining professional goals.
· Develop learning opportunities that meet individual needs, identified through professional growth goals, and that also support Districtwide systems.
Click here to view complete action map for Personalizing Personal Growth change element (pdf file).