Professional Learning

AP/DP Professional Development
Our AP/DP group convened to discuss our year and talk about what each of us do when collating our EOY achievements.  I had the opportunity to speak with Roween about my journey in developing my understanding around 'Teaching as Inquiry' and what this will look like for 2016 at CBS.  Roween gave me feedback on the CBS Appraisal & Inquiry document which was very positive.  This has cemented in my mind the importance of teachers delving deeper into their practice links with student outcome.  Roween also discussed reading,  'Putting Faces on Data', to help grow our knowledge of using data to inform school wide targets and possible next steps.  I have ordered this book to help me to look at different ways we can use our data to address where to next.  Holiday Reading!


EAAPA- Leading from Within
What are the key attributes or competencies to be a great middle leader
refer to this document Leading from the Middle.
Reading - Leadership that get results
Emotional Intelligence is a key aspect in leadership.  I have read this book many moons ago and found it to be very insightful in working with people from all walks of life.  I would like to refresh and update my knowledge in this area.

I am interested to learn more about how leaders can be supporting and influencing, Multipliers is a good book to help unpack some of these aspects...... holiday reading:)
Resilience is an aspect that I feel I need to continue to develop.  I find at times Leadership can feel like a thankless job. Unfortunately teachers aren't always aware of the hard graft that goes on behind the scenes. I have found at times they are quick to jump on any errors and can be the harshest critics.
The follow questions I am going to use to help to reflect on my thinking in regards to growing my resilience:
   What are the best opportunities here?
What skills, knowledge and attributes do I have to help me?
What can I let go of? (this is a key one for me)
How can I use my and other peoples talents better?

Delving deeper I have found some great articles that I will endeavour to add to my thinking in growing my resilience. 
Really liked this snippet; When we can notice which criticisms wound us the most deeply, it shines a light on what our beliefs are. Not only can this help us to find neutrality again, with this outlook, criticism can actually become a valuable tool for self-growth.
Twitter
I have begun using Twitter as a platform to continue with my professional development. I have found this to be a wonderful way to gain insight into the thinking of teachers and learners all over the world. Currently I am following Matt Brombly who has some great ideas about good leaders.
Some key points that resonate with me are;
So what is a great leader?  In my 2012 book, Leadership for Learning, I argued that great leaders are:
  • Good listeners
  • Able to care about and respond to people’s needs
  • Consistent, fair and honest
  • Transparent and above reproach
  • Sensitive and able to show warmth and to empathise with people’s concerns and worries
  • Able to give quality time to people, be available and approachable
  • Able to show assertiveness, determination and strength of response, yet able to be kind and calm and courageous
  • Able to communicate – through a variety of means and in an appropriate manner – with enthusiasm, passion and drive.

Be Driven By Your Vision, Not Other People’s Criticism
 I think it’s important to focus on your goals constantly and your vision of how you want your life to be.  If you can make the picture of what you want perfectly clear and desirable, then you can take a lot more abuse before you get there.  Whenever I face a lot of criticism, I go back to my goals and what I want (both personally, and in contribution to the world).  Criticism has the potential to derail you, to make you focus on pleasing everyone instead of staying committed to your vision.  This is why goal-setting is so important.  If you don’t have goals that are so clear and real in your mind, then they will be outspoken by the next jerk who doesn’t like your ideas. Scott H. Young
For me this gives me direction and allows me to find focus when there may be negativity.  I have also read about finding 'that person' who is your role model and using them as an example in dealing with criticism.  Not too sure who that woman would be for me.... need to think on it:)
National Standards
I always like updating my knowledge around National Standards so we can begin to use them smarter.  I believe it is a matter of interpretation, so it is valuable to have clarification around some common misconceptions.  I particularly like the points around what constitutes 'at' the standard, and when children are beginning school what is the 'best fit' standard for them to be working at.

Clarifications about National Standards


e-asTTle Taking it to the next level
This workshop helped me to develop my understanding of refining using asTTle within our school and to grow our teachers understanding of how to analyse the data to inform them of their students next steps. Differentiating the tests to better suit the needs of our students is one of my next steps.  As well as using the Group Learning Pathway for team leaders and myself to analyse our strengths and areas for development.


ICAS 2015
At present we are without a DP, therefore I have been learning the ins and outs of ICAS - International Competitions and Assessments for School.  From the conversation that Mark and I had last year I wrote myself some notes to assist the setting up and implementation of the tests.
Ginny and I have liaised and using the same system as last year Ginny has created a spreadsheet to correlate the children who will be sitting the test.  I then sent home a letter to parents in regards to sitting dates and money in etc.  
On Wednesday 20 May I held the Digital Technologies test.  The year 4, 5 and 6 children sat with 92 children in total.  As part of the test the children have to fill in the front page with their name, school and date of birth which is rather complicated if you have never seen it before.  Armed with this knowledge I made a copy of the answer sheet and then asked the teachers to go over this in class with their children to make the process easier for the children on the day.  There were only a few children who needed clarification on the day.  The test ran smoothly and most of the children finished before the allocated time.  Some next steps for further ICAS tests, have the children bring a ruler so that they can ensure they are answering in the correct place, for if they miss a question there is the possibility they then become out of alignment with the following answers.


Eastern AP/DP Professional Development Group
6/5/15 Reading
In our discussion we each shared each school's Assessment Overviews.  It was interesting to note what schools assessed and when and how much of this was student lead as opposed to teacher driven.  I reflected on what Cockle Bay assesses and how we can continue to evolve and refine our teaching and learning practice.  We also shared mid term and end of year report formats.  At Stonefields School, the children used child speak progressions (senior chn on their devices) which they then linked to their learning  to show their achievements.  This has potential at our school!



Using the PaCTool
Today I have been learning how to set up the Progress and Consistency Tool.  This is a e learning tool that will help teachers to make Overall Teacher Judgements.  A small group of teachers will trial using this tool to help them make their OTJs on their children.  I am yet to decide which area to assess.  The set up process has been rather frustrating and I would have benefitted from having some assistance/training to do this, rather than following a manual.
http://assessment.tki.org.nz/Progress-and-Consistency-Tool


To find out more information about asTTle today I attended a seminar on the essentials of e asTTle.  The power point and information link is below
Evaluation Associates asTTle information
notes from seminar

As part of my role alongside my colleagues we unpacked what it means to be a English Language learner and how this impacts on our and their teaching and learning.
English language Learners

Murray Gadd has been a facilitator as Cockle Bay School and has imparted his knowledge and assisted teachers to improve and enhance their students learning.
Cockle Bay Murray Gadd

Reading Recovery Professional development
Today I met with Jill Stephenson from Reading Recovery to find out a little more about what I should know. I have been filling in the Reading Recovery return for September, and I have already identified the children who are possible candidates.  We discussed the allocation of hours, and how long it takes to work with a child each day, and the ideal number of children to see.  
I also learnt a little about what questions I should be asking of the Reading Recovery teacher to ensure that the children are making progress or if any help or assistance needs to be sort.  I have done many Observational Surveys, but just wanted to ask what I should be looking for when making the decision to put children forward.  Jill suggested the younger the better, therefore the gap would be less in catching up with their peers. The next factor to take into consideration is the child's writing voacb score and their Burt word test, then the book level they are currently at.
My next steps are to find out Barbara's time table so I know how many children she sees a day etc. Jill suggested ideally 4 children, this ensures that the tutor is quick paced, alert and doing their job effectively.  Who compiles the selection sheets with the 6 year net info,  can these be pulled from e TAP? Lastly Barbara should keep a graph of progress for the children, so I can check in with her.

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