I have been looking for ways to increase collaboration and provide teachers with authentic opportunities to lead and learn from one another. This year I introduced POP Teams (Peer Observation Partnerships), and for the first half of the year they seemed to work well. One of the biggest drawbacks of POPs was teachers wanted to collaborate with more than just their chosen parter. I also noticed the level of peer coaching wasn't where I would have liked it to be, and the number of instances where teachers went in to visit another classroom was small. One day, as I was looking on Twitter, I came across Mark Barnes' Pineapple Chart blog post. I began reading up on this, and approached you principal about possibly implementing this next year.
This week I attended the first day of a two day workshop on Facilitating Adult Learning. While I have presented and facilitated numerous professional learning opportunities in my building and district, as well as at local, state, regional, and soon national conferences, I am always looking for additional strategies and ideas to add to my toolbox. Now that I am serving as an Instructional Coach, and am assisting in the professional learning of teachers in my building, I knew that there was no time like the present to attend this workshop and grow as a learner, coach, presenter, and facilitator.
During the workshop, the instructors and participants discussed what professional learning was, and most people there mentioned "sit and get" conferences and workshops. I, on the other hand, thought outside the typical Professional Development settings and referenced social media and the impact my virtual PLN has played in my growth as a professional. As I sat in the workshop, I began thinking about the Personalized PD I implemented earlier this school year. As you can imagine, because Personalized PD involves choice, it quickly became a huge hit! While it has been successful, there's always room to improve. Lately I've been thinking how I could use our 1:1 devices to extend and enhance teacher learning. Through Twitter chats like #Educoach, my PLN on Voxer, and reading several blogs by professional development leaders and fellow Instructional Coaches, I began to explore how online resources like iTunes U, Teaching Channel, Atomic Learning, and even eBooks published with iBooks Author or Book Creator, can serve as professional learning platforms. I'm still working out how this would function, but am intrigued by the potential these tools hold!