“When a community comes together in such a way that teachers respect and trust each other enough to see themselves as teachers of teachers and as learners at the hands of other teachers, they are able to create an atmosphere where anything is possible.” – Education World
“One size doesn’t fit all — it doesn’t even fit most” as the saying goes. Teachers in FWSU are working very hard to differentiate and personalize student learning to inspire greater engagement, ownership, and deeper understanding. This year we asked how we could do the same for our adult learners in our schools. And then we took it a bit further. We wondered if teachers led differentiated, choice-based learning for their colleagues, would the content become more valuable? Our response is to take a leap and answer, “yes” to both of these questions! Toward these ends, work has begun in earnest to create a menu of differentiated, teacher-led, three-day Professional Learning Institutes.
The 4 FWSU Action Plan Targets
- Proficiency-based Personalized Learning
- Flexible Learning Environments
- Engaged Community Partners
have been thoughtfully crafted to encompass all aspects of improving student learning in critical areas of contemporary education which prepare students for a broad future in a rapidly changing world.
We are very fortunate that FWSU is full of educators who have worked very hard to develop expertise in techniques, approaches, processes, and programs that inspire high levels of student performance and engagement within and across the curriculum that support these targets. Many of our teachers currently teach or have taught adults in higher education courses in these contemporary high leverage areas. As we have worked collaboratively on improvements and innovations, the leadership density within our schools has grown. Teachers are sought out for their knowledge or skill, and this year they will have the opportunity and given the time to learn from each other at our FWSU Professional Learning Institutes.
As part of this new Institute model, learning opportunities will be designed that can be completed during the in-service days. In addition, Institute materials and opportunities for discussion and engagement between November and March will be housed in Schoology, our Learning Management System. We believe the timing is right to adapt to a new model in which teachers work together to create teacher-centered professional learning.