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Hello there, and welcome. As I've mentioned in previous lessons, the work we do should always come back to the students, and their school-learning achievements. That will be the focus of this lesson. As we reflect on how the professional development plan that you established for yourself, will in turn improve teacher performance in your student's achievement. Let's begin.
I would like to take you through the process of reflecting on how collaborative, professional, development growth plans can support improvements to your performance as a teacher, and the positive effects that they have on student achievement, focusing on three main ideas that lead to continuous improvement. They are implementation, capacity building, and sustainability. Although I will be modeling this process as an individual, I would suggest that you do this with the collaborative team that you are working with. You will gain so much more by sharing, and receiving feedback from one another's reflections.
I'll begin by reflecting on implementation, and will do so by asking the following question, how did the development of a SMART goal help me better understand what it is I had to do in order to realize the goal set forth in my professional development plan? Many educators like myself, find the format of a SMART goal to be extremely helpful when working on professional development. Because it really covers it all. It's one abbreviation I can actually remember.
I've often refer to SMART goals as a roadmap to get you where you want to go. When constructed properly and followed, you will get a clear idea of whether what you are doing is working or not. Answering this question really helps to break down and analyze the end results of your plan. For example, if your professional growth plan is to increase student engagement, and you develop a SMART goal that calls for the use of student response systems as part of your instruction, you can't just wake up one day and do it. There are steps that need to be taken, and putting it all in a SMART goal helps to outline them.
Next, in terms of capacity building, I will reflect on the following question, did the use of SMART goals help our team move toward, and ultimately achieve an improvement of our instructional practice? Let's stick with the engagement goal of using student response systems. If you and your team's reflection reveals that the use of student response systems, although enjoyable, has not resulted in any measurable growth, it means it's time to refine the goal.
Other data can also be collected based on practice however. Perhaps you find that since implementing student response systems classroom management has improved. The point is that the deeper you drill down, the more likely you are to find something that you can attach to your practice. But this is only possible if you take the time to ask and answer the questions. Yet another reason collaboration is recommended. Team members bring different perspectives and experiences with them, which can help you see things differently.
And in order to reflect on the sustainability of the work, I will ask if by continuing to follow the path set forth by the SMART goal and professional development plan, will we improve our practice, and increased long-range student achievement? This is a big question, because it determines where you are going with this. If the data consistently shows that what you are doing is making a difference in your practice and in your student achievement, then you will want to continue, and perhaps expand.
Back to the student response example. The next step might be to add deeper level questions, or introduce the practice to other teachers. On the other hand, if the data shows no improvement and even regression, it may be time to chart a new course. The point is that you can't make a rational decision either way, unless the question is asked and discussed honestly.
So in conclusion, implementation, capacity building, and sustainability, are all essential to continuous, professional, improvement efforts. Which is why it's so important to include time to reflect on them. We need to be all about getting better at what we do. And participating in processes like this one will certainly help.
And now for today's food for thought. As we wind down, these lessons have given you a lot to think about and digest. For today's food for thought, I would like you to get in a mindset of reflection. By thinking about a new practice or initiative that you've recently implemented. Is it working like you had hoped? Would it be around in a year or two? To dive a little deeper, and learn how to apply this information, check out the additional resources section associated with this video. Here you will find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material. As always, thanks so much for joining. We'll see you next time.
(01:59-02:58) Capacity Building
(03:43-04:38) Summary/Food For Thought
Sustainable Professional Development
This article discusses how school districts are moving from traditional professional development models to models that support ongoing learning.
30 Questions For Teacher Reflection
Scroll down to numbers 20-26 to review collaborative professional learning reflection questions.