22 April 2021

Professional Development Time

Article by Mr Joe McLean

Professional Development Time

With the College’s 2021 Learning Goal focussed on Learners and their Learning – “Helping students learn to a higher level”, it is important teachers are given the time to form, establish and share their professional learning goals. With the development of Professional Learning Time, the Companion groups share their knowledge, expertise and wisdom and provide greater opportunities for collaboration amongst each other.

On Tuesday 23rd March, teachers were introduced to a Four Stage Professional Learning Cycle (PLC). The PLC is designed to facilitate reflection and to form important conversations in developing key outcomes and strategies which will help to establish their goal in conjunction with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Over the course of this year all teachers will work through key reflective questions outlined in the Professional Learning Cycle during Professional Learning Time.

Professional Learning Cycle

Stage 1

Context: Identify your professional learning need(s)

Establish your professional goal by considering the following:

  • What sort of education do I want my students to have to allow them to learn to a higher level?
  • How can I improve my teaching practice and learner outcomes according to the Teacher Standards for my career stage? What data sources inform this?
  • How does my learning need align with our 2021 improvement goals and learners needs?
  • What change do I want to achieve? How will I know this has been achieved?
  • What support do I need from my colleagues and leaders (including Companion Mentors and Companion Leaders)?

Stage 2

Experience: Select and undertake learning

Based on your learning need(s), consider the following:

  • What is the best way for me to engage each of my students as a whole person in the experience of the learning process?
  • Have I explored/considered different types of professional learning to select the most suitable one for my learning need(s)?
  • Does the selected professional learning challenge my thinking and enhance my practice?
  • What can I do that will have the greatest impact on student learning?

Stage 3

Action: Apply and refine learning

Throughout the learning process, consider the following:

  • What are the signs that a student is acting in a manner that indicates the integration of the stages of experience and reflection?
  • What actions do I need to take to apply the learning?
  • What outcomes do I hope to achieve as a result of applying my learning?
  • How am I assessing, reflecting and refining my learning throughout the process?
  • How will I know along the way that my efforts are making a difference on student progress?

Stage 4

Reflection and Evaluation: Evaluate overall impact

At appropriate points in the learning process, reflect on the following:

  • How can I create a culture of appraisal for my students and myself so that we may better decide the way to proceed in the future?
  • Did the selected professional learning adequately meet my learning need/s? Should I undertake further professional learning?
  • How has my teaching practice changed as a result of this learning and how has this impacted learner outcomes? What evidence informs this?
  • How am I sharing my learning experience and evaluation with colleagues?

Professional Learning Time plays a pivotal role in our College. This helps our teachers, our Companion groups and our school to achieve our set goal. Providing our staff with the opportunities for Professional Learning Time will allow the teachers to engage more readily, thus further enhancing our professional growth.

Joe McLean  Director of Teacher Development