Programs for EDUCATORS
Why Professional Learning?
A priority for most educators is student success: it is oftentimes through their development that we obtain fulfillment from our work. Our Professional Learning allows for educators to re-conceive of and maintain a keen focus on student growth, change, and success.
GROWTH AND SATISFACTION
It is too easy, sometimes, to feel stagnant in one's career. All people (not just educators) need to feel as though they are growing and evolving their daily practice in order to maintain job satisfaction. Our Professional Learning supplies an applied framework by which educators can continue to progress their own practices far into the future: regardless of what new information or innovations appear on the horizon.
When exploring new ideas or developing new techniques, it is important individuals feel supported and recognized for their unique contributions. Our Professional Learning provides a system that allows for each teacher's work to be documented, recognized, and utilized both within and between different schools and districts.
Professional Learning: What Works
Educators are often stretched-thin. Therefore, for Professional Learning to be embraced, it must compliment (rather than add to) the work educators are already doing.
Although one-off Professional Learning work shops serve to inspire teachers, the only way to generate lasting change is to impliment a long-term, focused program.
In order for Professional Learning to meaningfully impact educator practice, the work must be supported by and across all levels of the faculty.
For Professional Learning programs to impact all educators within a school, it must be mediated by internal school leaders (rather than an external consultants).
What we Offer
We have developed a long-term Professional Learning system based on an amalgamation of several Science of Learning frameworks.
Unlike 'Action-Research' frameworks which require teachers to learn and apply novel principles, Science of Learning frameworks simply builds on work teachers are already doing every day. Rather than trying to turn teachers into scientists, this program recognizes that teachers are already trying new ideas and generating enough data on a daily basis to help evolve the practice of everyone.
Through our 5-step process, we will deliver a program that will help educators recognize, assess, enhance, and disseminate effective teaching practices.
STEP #1: PERSONALIZED DEVELOPMENT
As successful PL requires school-wide support, we begin by meeting with the Principal and other school leaders to understand the aims and goals for each unique school. From this information, we can construct content that is relevant, meaningful, and personalized.
STEP #2: WHOLE SCHOOL BUY-IN
As educators are often leery of 'outsiders' interfering with their work, it is important a good impression is made and strong relationship formed. To achieve this, we present a school-wide workshop that includes all educators. The content of this workshop will be dependent upon each school's desires (as determined in Step #1) and the session will serve as an introduction to 'acclimatize' everyone.
STEP #3: SMALL-GROUP TRAINING
The bulk of our work will be done with a small group of dedicated teachers (6-10 in total). It is with these teachers we will introduce our Science of Learning framework. Through several sessions, we will work closely with this group to ensure they understand and are comfortable with the framework. Over the course of the next 2 terms, we will offer one-on-one support as this group begins to assess and iterate their own practices.
Step #4: DISSEMINATE
As outlined above, a key requirement for job satisfaction is recognition. To achieve this, we set up a data-base system whereby educators can share their work with their peers. Data-bases can be pooled between schools to extend influence and impact.
STEP #5: WHOLE SCHOOL TRAINING
As noted above, for Professional Learning to be adopted by all educators, it must be mediated by school leaders. In order to achieve this, the small-group of teachers trained in Step #3 will, themselves, become mentors and undertake the training of small groups of their colleagues. Though we will offer support during this endeavor, the goal will ultimately be for the training/mentorship/dissemination cycle to become self-sustaining and internally driven.
Knowledge of one's brain and unique learning patterns can not only enhance self-efficacy and well being, but also empower one to take a more active role in the educational process. With this in mind, we have developed a Neuroscience course for students which covers all the important aspects of the brain & learning (plasticity, attention, memory, etc.) and additional topics including metacognitive control, the senses, and brain health/safety.
PARENT & COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Educating parents about how they (and their children) develop and learn can enhance at-home support for all students. With this in mind, we have developed a number of talks for parents that explore issues of development, memory, learning, and general brain health/safety.