Question Detail

I am a reading coach and want to know how I can get teachers to take more responsibility for their own PD. How can we facilitate strong learning communities?

Mar 29, 2014 11:05am

Providing PD to teachers is on the way out (In my opinion). The way of the future is for teachers to collaborate, plan together, deprivatize their practice and make meaning from their learning.

  • English Language Arts
  • K-5
  • Coaching / Collaboration


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    • Apr 1, 2014 6:27am

      Hi Leigh, It sounds like you want the teachers you are coaching to do several things that require a very high level of practice...getting to really know students,collaborating with other teachers, and reflecting on their own teaching practice to the extent of assessing trouble areas and then providing their own professional development. I believe these are very admirable and ambitious goals. However, coaching teachers is about guiding them into these goals with the realization that it is a process,and teachers are at different points on the spectrum of expertise. Jim Knight has some great books on creating learning communities and coaching that might help you to empower the teachers you coach,and move them along.

      • Mar 30, 2014 11:01am

        Thanks Michael. It really isn't about accountability. It's about teachers knowing their students best and inquiring into their practice vs. someone coming in to tell them what they need to work on. My teachers just can't seem to understand that collaboration and self-generated inquiry is what is going to be the most helpful. I wish I could get them to see that!

        • Apr 5, 2014 2:23pm

          Hi Leigh, I think in general teachers want a strong learning community, but most of the time we are not asked we are TOLD how we should teach a subject or what we need PD in . I think that if you want stronger learning communities let teachers have more of a say in what they want to discuss and take responsibility for in their classrooms, most teachers if you ask them they will tell you what they are struggling with on a day to day basis in their classrooms. Good planning time works wonders in a teachers day, planning and discussing what is happening in their classroom right now is more than enough professional development.

          • Apr 21, 2014 1:57pm

            We, the CCSD Performance Zone 4 Instructional Coaches, established a Facebook page! It is catching on like wildfire because it is a 24/7 vehicle for differentiated professional development, sharing resources, global collaboration, innovation, and inspiration! All educators are welcome to join our global network - PZ4 Innovators!

            • Mar 30, 2014 9:25am

              PD for me with my coach's help is about the conversation, exchange of ideas. But I learned a lot more through my own reading of other teachers' experiences and/or collaboration with colleagues. It comes through serious reflection and then implementation. Now, if it's about having teachers being held accountable, I know that we were asked to keep a log of activities we did to attend some PD session and we had to turn that in to our principal.

              • Apr 21, 2014 12:11pm

                Hi, our district has started Twitter chats! Not everyone is Twitter savvy, but each week it seems to grow! It grew out of digital classroom teachers trying to collaborate across the district. Now they do it in their PJ's on Thursday evenings! The "buzz" is spreading and more people are coming to me asking how to get involved or with questions about twitter! I also agree with Nicole...Jim Knight is a great resource!