Faculty Information Guide Professional Development
TABLE OF CONTENTS PHILOSOPHY ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES I. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDING A. Available Funds B. How to Apply to Use Your Funds C. Reimbursement Guidelines II. LEAVE FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT A. Participating in Professional Development during Student Contact Time B. After the Professional Development Event C. Approval Process for Professional Development III. PROFFESIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES A. IB Workshops B. EARCOS Teachers’ Conference C. EARCOS Weekend Workshops and Conferences D. In-‐School Professional Development Days E. Consultants F. Professional Learning Communities IV. APPLICATION PROCESS A. Professional Development Application Process
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Canadian Academy recognizes that a dedicated and highly qualified faculty is our most important resource. One of our Core Values is that lifelong learning leads to self-‐discovery and personal meaning. As educators we should serve as models of lifelong learning to our educational community. To enhance the ability of CA faculty members to contribute to their communities and to promote career satisfaction, we are committed to supporting on-‐going professional development for our faculty members. Professional learning attempts to change practice in education and aims for a change in understanding rather than merely a superficial change in teaching techniques. Much professional learning takes place through informal peer-‐to-‐peer discussions among teachers. However, more formal professional development support is likely to be required when considerable changes to traditional teaching and assessment are required. There are many different forms that professional development can take depending on decisions about several important factors. These include the balance between top-‐down and bottom-‐up approaches; the tension between theory-‐based and technique-‐based models and the consistency between the underlying view of learning and the messages intended to be communicated. Bottom-‐up models reflect the view that participation in developing new procedures or materials is a most effective way of encouraging teachers’ commitment to change. Groups of teachers can tackle new ideas creatively in a conducive and experimental environment. They can learn from each other, combine their ideas and achieve ownership of the emerging practices. With opportunities to reflect and develop understanding of the principles underlying desirable changes, this type of experience can be a most effective approach to promoting professional learning. But it is also very demanding of resources, particularly time, and in contexts of limited resources for professional development, it cannot be extended to many teachers. A less open-‐ended approach is one in which teachers are not expected to develop new techniques themselves. Instead they are encouraged to try out ready-‐made approaches. Such professional learning is characterized by providing opportunities to adapt as well as to adopt. However, unless understanding of the rationale for the techniques is established there is a risk of the teachers using them somewhat mechanically. When decisions need to be made about when and how the techniques can be used, the lack of a fundamental understanding of the purposes may lead to confusion and ultimately to rejection of the techniques. Regardless of the mode of the professional development on offer, experience indicates that several key elements are required to facilitate effective professional learning. Teachers, for example, must have the time to reflect and to adjust their teaching to take on new practices. Professional development activities are therefore best spread over time with opportunities for trying out new assessment ideas between sessions.
Reflecting on and sharing their experiences with others are important elements in promoting effective professional learning, and the ownership and understanding needed for successful implementation of new educational pedagogy and procedures. Teachers need to be clear about the direction in which they should be trying to move their assessment practice and to have some feedback about their progress. Professional learning can only start from teachers’ initial understandings, just as in the case of students’ learning. Some teachers may prefer to start by adopting techniques for change rather than understanding the reasons for change. However, recent reviews have shown that unless they eventually reach this understanding, the new techniques are likely to be followed mechanically. They will not be adapted to particular circumstances and may be easily abandoned.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES The role of the faculty is to pursue growth by: • Sharing responsibility for their development • Developing, with their supervisors, plans to acquire or enhance skills and/or knowledge • Pursuing those opportunities for their personal growth that will increase teacher effectiveness and student learning The role of the administration is to encourage and be supportive of professional development by: • Provide ongoing training to meet school-‐wide goals • Provide candid feedback on teacher performance • Encouraging staff to learn and grow by providing funds and release time to pursue individual goals that impact teacher effectiveness and student learning • Offering or supporting education and training opportunities to enhance an individual’s performances • Publicizing development opportunities so that individuals can pursue those opportunities which they believe will advance their own development
AREAS OF EMPHASIS FOR PROFFESIONAL DEVELOPMENT Effectively this program is designed to support five targets. Administration and faculty are collaboratively involved in the development and pursuit of these targets: 1. Meeting the school-‐wide goals. 2. Continuing curriculum development. 3. Meeting division/department goals. 4. Addressing the expressed needs of faculty within areas of school initiatives and practices. 5. Meeting personal growth goals that lead to increased teacher effectiveness and student learning. Professional Development at CA takes many forms. Examples of these are listed below: 1. Workshops in school and out of school. 2. Teacher to teacher workshops. 3. Distance learning. 4. IB workshops. 5. EARCOS conference and workshops. 6. On-‐the-‐job training and support. 7. Curriculum development. 8. Policy formulation. 9. Collaborative classroom unit development. 10. Self-‐directed learning through reading, research and viewing of educational resources. 11. Writing for educational publications. 12. Classroom observations at CA and other schools. 13. Professional learning communities. 14. Team/department and division meetings. 15. Team examination of student work. 16. Vertical team meetings. 17. Mentoring.
I. PROFFESIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDING A. Available Funds CA encourages self-‐improvement through the use of funds that are allocated to study in the summer. As the CA Board of Trustees has stated that our primary purpose is to teach students, release time during the school year for U.S. or European based workshops or training is not allowed due to the amount of travel time required.
In a typical summer, 30-‐35 CA staff will take advantage of summer study funds. Summer allocations vary from $1,000 to $1,500 depending on the number of requests received. The courses, conferences or workshops taken vary widely. For example, several teachers have used the funds to complete a masters degree in their subject/grade level area, to attend a conference in the subject area or where they have curriculum responsibility, and/or receive specialized training (IB or specific coaching or advisement skills). Summer study funding may be held over to the new school year to be used to finance participation in other specified professional development. B. Applying for Funding Applications for funding approval for professional development activities should be submitted by the end of April. Successful applicants will be notified by mid-‐May. The following may be used when determining whether or not an individual will receive CA support: 1. Contract status (priority is for full-‐time and returning staff); 2. How the proposed summer study relates to the CA's priorities, strategic planning mission and delimilters which result in targeted improvement areas: e.g. IBDP, UbD, MYP, PYP, etc. 3. The effect of the study on the professional growth of the individual. 4. The number of times or years in succession the individual has received assistance and/or the amounts granted. 5. If CA has asked a particular individual to complete a course so they are prepared to teach a class, support may increase beyond the budget allocated for general summer study. 6. If the money will be used for improvement in the teacher's field, or for professional advancement to another field. 7. The number and amounts requested compared to the total amount budgeted Personal Professional Development/ summer study support. Faculty are responsible for organizing their own transportation and accommodation.
When a teacher is asked by CA to attend training, for example an IB workshop, CA usually gives full support for the costs involved as per the policies.
C. Advancement and Reimbursement Guidelines Teachers are expected to keep receipts for all expenses. These are to be accurately recorded, totaled and attached to the online summary form. Faculty are expected to share hotel rooms with other CA attendees (of the same sex) if doing so reduces the accommodation cost to the school. Additional costs for choosing a single room instead of a shared room are the requesting teacher's expense. If the choice of a single room requires another teacher to also reserve a single room, that added cost is also the requesting teacher's expense. As a general guide accommodation costs are pegged at around $130 per night. Sometimes recommended (for example IB workshops) hotels are in excess of that. It is usually possible to find an equally good hotel to the recommended one at a lower cost using a hotel aggregator website such as agoda.
Airfare support for summer study, even for a few teachers, adds significantly to this cost. Either the number of teachers who can be supported or the total amount of money each teacher can receive might be reduced. To minimize the impact on the summer study allocations to teachers, CA will carefully study each airfare request. Generally, teachers will only receive airfare combined as an added stop to their annual home leave. Since the calculation of the additional fare is complex, a teacher eligible for airfare support must give CA a copy of their itinerary and ticket cost calculation for the summer. Their travel agent should be instructed to search for the least expensive fare required to travel to the workshop or conference site from the normal end point of the ticket. The cost difference for the added stop must be clearly shown. CA reserves the right to check airfare price quotations with other agents or airlines, and suggest alternate routes or airlines if, in the school's judgment, they are significantly less expensive. For example, trying to maintain a frequent flier relationship may not provide the least expensive additional fare. In such a case, the school might decide on a lower rate of reimbursement. II. LEAVE FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT A. Participating in Professional Development during Student Contact Time In order to balance CA’s commitment to maximizing the learning of students with the commitment to support teachers to remain professionally current, the following guidelines have been developed for professional development experiences that occur during student contact time. 1. The professional development experience must provide an opportunity for the teacher to acquire and/or develop skills that are aligned with either their own professional development growth plan or with a divisional professional development priority. 2. The professional development experience is being offered at a time when a conflict with student contact can be avoided. 3. The professional development experience is determined to add a level of value that
outweighs the absence from the classroom for the required period of time. 4. There is a reasonable expectation that coverage for the class can be found.
5. The school will pay the salary and substitute pay for teachers to attend professional development activities that occur during student contact time which have been approved by the teacher’s principal or the headmaster. 6. In the event that there are multiple requests for professional development leave during the same time period, divisional principals will make the final decision regarding attendance depending on substitute availability and overall impact on the normal instructional program. III. Approval Process for Professional Development The Professional Development Committee comprises of the division principals, the curriculum leadership team and a faculty representative. It meets each semester during the school year to allocate funds for individual requests from faculty. Decisions for individual applications are based on selection criteria and allocations are based on criteria IV. PROFFESIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES A. IB Workshops Teachers will be sent to an IB workshop once every three years. New teachers to the IB program are also eligible to receive training at an IB workshop. Faculty teaching IB courses undergoing curriculum revision also come under this category of eligibility. B. EARCOS Teachers’ Conference EARCOS serves as a structure through which personnel in member schools can plan cooperatively to attain common goals and to solve mutual problems. The teachers’ conference is held annually and develops a single educational thread. C. EARCOS Weekend Workshops CA uses EARCOS vetted staff development professionals when appropriate. There are two reasons for this. First, EARCOS sponsors individuals traveling in our region who can be used as resources for CA programs and staff development at substantial savings to the School. Second, through the EARCOS Weekend Workshop structure, EARCOS has a staff development grant option that can substantially offset the cost of extended staff development initiatives. D. In-‐School Professional Development Days CA has typically scheduled between three and five days of in-‐service when students do not attend school. Typically, three days are expected of teachers prior to the beginning of each school year. Some of that time is classroom preparation, some time for department or grade level meetings, and some time for specialized training. Examples of specialized training include library technology, computer applications, and holistic writing.
During the school year, usually, two in-‐service days have been scheduled; one in fall and another in early spring when students do not attend school and teachers attend workshops. During the fall schedule, special consultants and in-‐house training has typically been scheduled.
Beginning in 2008, early Wednesday dismissal was instituted to provide more time for implementation of the strategic plan. The purpose of Wednesday sessions and these follow below in order of priority: 1. Meeting school goals. 2. Curriculum development. 3. Teacher professional development. 4. School administration such as faculty meetings and report card writing Although these are organized by priority they are, of course, inter-‐related. Teachers may be expected to stay in school until 5:00 pm on Wednesdays. E. Consultants Planning for professional development at CA is done annually. Its purpose is to fulfill the CA Professional Development Goals in a transparent, accessible and communicative way. The underlying principles of enhancing student learning and teacher effectiveness apply. The annual plan is developed in response to the effect of the previous year’s plan and the needs for the curriculum and/or program in the following school year. The majority of available funds in the organizational plan will be allocated to bring consultants to the campus, because CA can provide quality professional development equitably and to a large number of faculty and/or staff at a reasonable cost. F. Professional Learning Communities This describes a collegial group of administrators and school staff who are united in their commitment to student learning. They share a vision, work and learn collaboratively, visit and review other classrooms, and participate in decision making. The benefits to the staff and students include a reduced isolation of teachers, better informed and committed teachers, and academic gains for students. As an organizational arrangement, the professional learning community is seen as a powerful staff-‐development approach and a potent strategy for school change and improvement.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOMENT APPLICATION This process along with reimbursement is an online process.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Concordia International School Shanghai Professional Development Handbook Changing Assessment Practice Process, Principles and Standards John Gardner, Wynne Harlen, Louise Hayward, Gordon Stobart (Assessment Reform Group, 2008)
The teacher is the chief learner in the classroom DONALD GRAVES
Published on Apr 15, 2014