Why do teachers engage in professional learning?
Teachers engage in professional learning to improve student learning. We plan, teach, and reflect, both individually and with our colleagues, to respond to the needs of our students with targeted instruction, often following an inquiry cycle:
What knowledge and skills do our students need to meet important goals?
What knowledge and skills do we, as professionals, need to meet the needs of our students?
We then deepen our professional learning and refine our professional skills.
We engage our students in new learning experiences.
What has been the impact of our changed actions on learning outcomes for our student?
(Helen Timperley, Realizing the Power of Professional Learning, 2011)
Teacher professional learning is necessary as it offers support to our classroom teachers; one teacher alone often struggles to fully meet the needs of their students whereas with collective responsibility for all students through dialogue and deliberate practice, every one of our students is able to move forward in a spirit of continuous improvement.
Teaching is about understanding the individual child with whom we are working and discovering what that child needs to be successful…connecting the right strategy to the right student to optimize learning (Pete Hall and Alisa Simeral, Teach, Reflect, Learn 2015, p. 127).
Effective teaching is a constant process of adjustment, judgment, and responding to the energy and engagement of the students (Ken Robinson, Creative Schools, 2015, p. 106).
Throughout our district and schools, multiple layers of professional learning opportunities are intentionally designed as our teachers, individually and collectively, work to meet goals that improve student learning.
The link below leads to a district document which articulates the elements (community, conversation, creativity, collaboration, capacity) that provide the foundation for professonal learning in Edmonton Catholic Schools.
Creating the Conditions That Improve Learner Success.pdf