Friday, 5 September 2014

Professional Learning

I've been doing a lot of reading lately. This isn't unusual - English teacher - will read. But I'm trying to focus my attention on Education books - books that I guess could be considered professional development.

I've seen lots of infographics floating around that state that if you spend 10000 hours reading about a particular topic/idea you can be called an expert in the field...

I'm not sure how accurate this is. If you want to seem more information about how this number is determined have a look at this post by FreakoStats...

But right now, I've got a couple of key areas that I feel I need to me more well read in - to I guess be an expert in the field. 

So to help me to reflect on what I am reading, I'm going to start blogging about what I'm reading. I know that I'm a reflective learner and that this will help me to process my ideas.

The first book I've grabbed is "Using Data to Improve Learning: A practical guide for busy teachers" by Anthony Shaddock. I picked it up because I'm trying to determine how to best use the data we're collecting from a range of sources: PAT Testing, NAPLAN, Academic Data etc. Instead of looking at it and saying hmmmm...that's where that student it is - I want to think with my staff about what we do with it next - now that we've identified what the student can and can't do - how do we help them to improve?

I know that I'm going to enjoy this book because in the first chapter that really resonated with me:

This is so true. I can't work out how to balance everything. To meet the needs of a constantly changing work environment that is impacted more and more by the outside - policies, parents, society. How do we use all the data available to tailor learning. And most importantly - when do we do it? 

When do we as individual teachers with our own classes, as teachers working in year level or subject teams, or as teachers within a whole school cohort have time to analyse the data and make decisions about how to tailor and differentiate the curriculum more specifically to meet the needs of all our students?

How can I ask my staff to analyse the data without providing them with a clear framework? A clear purpose for why they need to analyse the data? A clear explanation of how they should analyse the data? 

I hope that as I take a journey through this book, that I can come to a better understanding and realisation of what I should do next and how I can work with my staff to make real change.

A small step for an English teacher....


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