Principal, Melissa Bell and the e-learning leaders at St Hilda's Collegiate describe the professional development they have in place to support teachers with teaching and learning. e-Learning professional development began with upskilling teachers on how to use their "system" and working digitally. A shift has occurred and professional development is now based around teaching and learning. The sessions began with the e-learning leaders providing PD to teachers. As teachers have become more proficient they are now presenting and sharing what they are doing with the rest of the staff. A key feature has been regular, short weekly meetings. Staff are also supported in the classroom by the e-learning team.
I think the change has been really significant for teachers and it’s something that we’ve really had to work hard at. I think it’s been a big focus of our professional development programme - both before we brought in the 1-1 programme but also since. We were very grateful for the support of being on the ICT contract, it made a huge difference.
The plan that had been decided on was to work with the Year 9 cohort first. Give those teachers particular support because it was going to be quite a change for them. That is how the plan is rolling out so working with the idea that change is moving up through the school. One of the things that’s been very effective for us, is actually before we started the laptop programme, we had a regular spot that then ICT now e-learning has highlighted - and that was in a Friday morning briefing. Initially it was based around ways to support the teacher with the system because they had a lot of learning to do as the system was developed, sometimes just using, managing things, working digitally was quite a change for a lot of them, so a lot of that sort of thing, that was our first Friday morning if you like briefings. As it developed further, it shifted away from that, now more based around teaching and learning. Sometimes the three of us now who are responsible for that Carla, Alistair and I (because Carla’s the ICT facilitator for our ICT PD contract) so we planned those but we’re more and more, other teachers are presenting. So sometimes teachers will come to us and say they’d like to show this on a Friday and we say fantastic we’ll support them that way. Sometimes we’ll see something happening around the school and we’ll ask the teachers to present and we’ll support them. Sometimes things are completely left field; we might feel there’s something out there the teachers need to know. An example of that is a couple of weeks ago Alistair talked about crowd sourcing because that was quite a big move and that’s created conversations with the teachers because they hadn’t really thought about that as a mode for learning. The key thing for us is those regular Friday morning briefings. They’re normally quite short, say 15 minutes max.
We focus quite a bit on just in time support. So the support is in a variety of ways - sometimes we help teachers resource. Sometime we just help teachers enable them to complete some sort of programme that they want to that’s working digitally with students. Sometimes I’ll actually go into the classroom and work, support the teacher with the students. Or I might even work with the students, work with the whole class for maybe ten minutes at the beginning of the class just to enable something, let the teacher take over after that and to carry it on through.
It hasn’t been an easy journey for all staff. For a lot of teachers who have been teaching for some time their esteem is really so tied up with being good deliverers of content. So if you shift that person from being the holder of the knowledge and say we actually all hold the knowledge know we’re working collaboratively to really understand it that’s a big shift in role for some staff and it doesn’t necessarily suit everyone. But I’m really proud of the commitment the staff have made to that change, it’s been a really big challenge.
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