This past week my Associate Principal and I met individually with each of our teachers. As is the case each year, the purpose of these meetings is to review their professional growth plan and discuss a possible placement for next year. New to this process was an opportunity for us to engage in a focused conversation about their daily practice in relation to this KSA Rubrics Tech – 12-13 Teacher Self-Assessment Tool which aligns perfectly with Alberta’s Teacher Quality Standard, a document by which a teacher’s professional practice is guided. During the year they were asked to revisit this rubric periodically and through reflection determine where they would place themselves on the rubric in relation to each element.
Powerful conversation took place during each meeting. There was no expectation that the completed document be returned to us, nor were individuals asked to disclose all of it’s content. Instead, we invited each teacher to share one aspect of their practice they considered to be a strength as well as something they saw as an area for growth. Interestingly, each one of them found it difficult to toot their own horn, but easily came up with a number of areas in which they could improve. This gave us the opportunity to reinforce the wonderful elements we had observed during our classroom visitations this year and, through their lead, suggest ways in which they could continue on the path of lifelong learning. It was definately a worthwhile exercise.
Upon debriefing after these meetings, my Associate Principal and I have decided it would be a good idea to take this process one step further next year. We plan to distribute the rubrics in September and, as a staff, select one KSA to reflect on each month. At the monthly staff meeting, we will be setting aside time for teachers, in small groups, to engage in professional discussion on each element of the KSA for that month. Our hope is that the powerful sharing (and growth) that has taken place at our meetings this year will be further enhanced by adding this collaborative piece.
The reflection and conversation will hopefully lead to future action as we continue the capacity building PD model that worked so well at our school this year.