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Professional Learning

Professional Learning Philosophy: Developing Expertise

Just as each student has different learning needs, each teacher has different areas for professional growth in the name of developing instructional practices and increasing pedagogical expertise. To do this, we in 6-12 English have designed a system for professional learning that reflects the position of the National Council for the Teaching of English as well as the district's 2021-26 strategic plan, specifically strategy 4B: "Offer differentiated professional learning that allows teachers to balance personal professional learning needs and District initiatives." 

From the NCTE position statement, here are the seven key components of effective professional learning:

  1. Teachers are seen as professionals; their knowledge and expertise are valued.
  2. Teachers are seen as co-constructors of knowledge, not as passive recipients of knowledge, i.e., transmission model.
  3. Collaboration is recognized as a vital component. When teachers share their own expertise, learning from each other, as well as from administrators and consultants, a different kind of knowledge results.
  4. Teachers are encouraged to explore published research and given time to do that. However, this published research is not presented to teachers as the sole source of expertise but rather as part of a conversation with teachers that inspires their thinking and helps them develop their own expertise.
  5. Teachers are encouraged to use their expertise to study the learning in their own classrooms in a systematic manner.
  6. Teachers set goals for their own learning.
  7. Teachers become empowered educators, visionary leaders, and inspired knowledge producers through professional learning and cultural competency.