reflectively assessing my professional goals

Professional Growth Plans- accountability and journey

So it’s another time to craft another professional growth plan.

Are you paused or in fast-forward?

Are you stuck in the middle of the road? Ever wonder how you make a difference in this hectic education realm? I do not resist the evaluation task but rather relish it… my mother once told me when you get to an age, you are free to be yourself, even it appears insane to all others…:-)

I do this each year, even if I’m not required to, but this year I thought I would add a more participatory component to my experience. It’s an added risk and even daunting task because now I must articulate what I usually just spiral around in my head as I contemplate my personal goals, my professional role as a public school teacher-librarian and re-assess my value as an educator as I approach the twilight of a challenging and rewarding career. Firstly, I must acknowledge my employer and administrators who support the PGP model of teacher evaluation. For specialists teacher particularly this is a very progressive and valuable change from the old ‘teacher observation’ regimen that was the norm. Not only is it more productive for me but I believe it is a superior and more accountable model to nurture profession growth in our educators than simply judging individuals on a random snapshot of classroom time, records, and such… teaching is more an art than a science. Measuring teacher worth or competency by a test or an observation is a shallow and ineffective exercise. If evaluating administrators or executives by assessing ‘growth plans’ is an effective device, so should it be for teachers who must juggle the dynamics of a modern classroom mandate.

I’m drafting my plans for this years’ PGP presentation. I was considering a few themes. Obviously I have passion inn the value of librarianship and the concept of learning commons in high schools but I was also considering a collaborative plan that would build a guide and anecdotes about the role of the web and social media for the classroom teacher. I receive dozens of questions and requests for ideas and advise about websites, blogs, Twitter etc with regards to instructional design and it just seem spragmatic to build something that would contribute to the mix. On another note, I am entering the twilight years of my career and wonder about a more reflective project that might survey the changes I’ve seen recently and offer up thoughts and strategies for the professional educator. Either way, I’m open to ideas, collaborations and feedback. I have several months to write this project and develop some material and experiences to work on. New colleague or old mate, I’m listening and reflecting.

I just listened to a podcast and reopened an old file from 2010. I submitted ab old post to CBC Spark January 2010 for a discussion about meaning in the new digital workplace and it prodded some old questions about professionalism in an age when public education is under critique and tradition methods are under attack. [audio:]

How much has changed? evolved? I’d say not much. I see some innovative , motivated and talented young colleagues beginning to tackle new approaches to strengthen their teaching methods and support students in new ways. I also see some very old habits. I see the need for better teacher professional growth. Teacher well being and student success is dependent upon it. Teachers cannot continue to do more and more- , with less. We need to remain healthy and skilled. A PGP process helps.

Our professional culture, our instructional support and our PD models need new approaches. The encouraging news to me, is there are some brilliant and amazingly innovative thinkers, along with progressive 21stC educators, offering up solutions, sharing and hope.

Questions that George Couros has raised for this very topic of growth….

1. Educator professional growth plans should lead directly to improved student learning.

2. A collaborative school culture helps to promote the best professional growth.

3. Growth plans are educator specific and meets the needs of the individual.

4. Professional development opportunities will thrive if they are given school support.




Comments are closed.