Reinventing Inservice: FWSU Designs Personalized Professional Development Days

Target 1 – Student-Centered Learning: FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.

Action Step – Highlight, create and model innovative learning opportunities that promote collaborative, inquiry  problem solving and creativity for students and staff.

Yesterday marked a new direction for our traditional inservice professional development days at FWSU. Gone are the long hours sitting in a school gym listening to “outside experts.” Instead, you will find our teachers across the district engaging in the real work of designing curriculum, tailoring assessments, and leading the conversations about how our children learn. We believe teachers know their own students best and have the expertise to personalize instruction for every child in their classroom. They are real practitioners who have valuable experience with students, parents, school, and community. We are giving them a voice and a platform to collaborate with their peers.

This is FWSU Inservice 2.0 and it is energizing!

Our goal is to begin to model the kind of student-learning called for in our FWSU Action Plan, and applying it to our adult learners. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to professional development, we are designing inservice days around the big ideas in our Action Plan, and creating meaningful ways to flexibly address the personalized needs of our educators and instructional support staff.

 This year we decided to group four inservice days together, in to give teachers clustered time to work in K-12 Vertical Teams. Teachers set the focus; colleagues from all grade levels and schools are working to coordinate and plan instruction. For some, that means working across schools to share resources. For others, teachers from one grade cluster in a school spend time developing assessments to identify the specific needs of particular learners. All of our educators are focused on integration of content to address the instructional shifts that will be required by the Common Core State Standards. Future inservices will also include EdCamp style professional development.

Our methods of feedback have also changed with the times. We now have teachers tweeting real-time thoughts, ideas, and questions collaboratively with one another using our own #FWSU Twitter hashtag. FWSU educators also provide further feedback through a Google-powered survey form that is emailed to to everyone’s mailbox at the end of the day.

Our first FWSU Inservice 2.0 was a great success and we are eager to continue refining our new design for personalized professional development in response to authentic learning needs!

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