How can principals create the conditions for professional development to have impact on student learning? How will you know?
“The two questions that drive things from the leadership point of view are: ‘What evidence do you have that you are making an impact?’ and ‘How do you evaluate that evidence?’ So the principal needs to involve the teachers by saying, ‘Is this good enough?’ and ‘Is there evidence that this is good enough?’ and then, ‘What are we doing in light of that evidence?’” (Hattie, 2013)
Before the session:
- Review the agenda and professional learning goals for the session with a teacher who will act as co-lead. Decide collaboratively on the approach for the session. (Are the teachers bringing student work? Are they using the student work found in the booklets?)
- Provide participating teachers with the confirmed date, agenda and any pertinent materials (student work, pre-reading material, rubrics, etc.)
- Discuss with your co-lead how you intend to support and contribute in English while supporting participants to use French (e.g. use of receptive skills, pre-reading materials, using the guide to support understanding of the student work, tasks, and rubrics).
During the session:
- Encourage the teachers to speak in French throughout the session, even if you do not speak French. Reinforce that you will be participating fully, and describe the tools you have that will help you contribute to the session. FSL teachers benefit from practice using their language skills in safe, professional settings.
- Refer to the FSL curriculum while utilizing the examples, rationales, rubrics and support materials found in the guides and booklets of this project.
- Be an active participant! Model effective questioning and accountable talk. Ask meaningful questions:
- Which descriptors in the rubric best match the student’s work?
- What evidence from the student’s work helps you make that determination?
- How will you give descriptive feedback to the student?
- Work with teachers to set goals for student progress based on curriculum expectations.
- Certain social behaviours (storytelling, hyper focussing on a certain student, dismissing new or contradictory observations about student work) are normal but may be unproductive in relation to your learning goals. This can be avoided by referring to norms and refocussing conversations around key instructional strategies and anchoring comments in evidence from student work.
After the session:
- Through follow-up conversations, explicitly ask participants about their learning during the session and what, if any changes, have they made to their practice as a result. If possible, set dates for a follow-up session relatively soon following the session.
- Consider revisiting school or department improvement planning in relation to emerging data about student needs and teaching strategies.