Professional Learning

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Content in this category evidences my ability to cover standard 6 of AITSL’s National Professional Standards for Teachers “engage in professional learning”. For each subcategory I will provide at least one example of how I achieve that standard.

6.1  Identify and plan professional learning needs

Due to my passion for literature and literacy, and how much I have enjoyed engaging in small group collaborative work leading teachers in professional learning, becoming a Teacher Librarian is a fantastic next step in my career. To achieve this I completed a Masters in Education in Teacher Librarianship at Charles Sturt University, and have begun to engage in relevant professional learning opportunities such a diversity in literature evening.

6.2  Engage in professional learning and improve practice

Having experimented with flipping the classroom and found it to be highly beneficial for student learning, I have decided to conduct another experimental unit in flipping to solidify my skills to prepare for a shift towards this style of education. I am currently leading a small group focused on flipping the classroom. We are engaging in educational research, planned implementation, and evaluation.

6.3  Engages with colleagues and improves practice

I attended a professional development day with George Couros* at Flinders University with colleague Colin McKenzie. Using some of my learning from this I initiated colleagues’ interest in creating professional e-portfolios and run two full day sessions for interested staff to teach them how to use blogs as:

  • An online filing and organisational tool.
  • A professional network to share, collaborate, and engage in professional dialogue with other educators.
  • A space for reflection and learning.
  • A record of our professional development and professional learning.
  • A resume.
  • A way to align with AITSL’s professional teaching standards.

*George Couros is a Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning with Parkland School Division, Alberta, Canada. 

I regularly attend the SAETA Annual State Conferences. It is always inspiring to hear great ideas, gather resources, and connect with colleagues. I have presented a range of workshops at these conferences including:

  • Going Paper Free (looking at how access to resources, the curriculum, assessment, and marking can all be done electronically)
  • Using Web 2.0 Tools to Enhance Teaching (focusing on Google Docs, Wikis, Blogs, Pinterest and QR Codes as educational tools;  my notes at this Google Doc).
  • Do Anything You Want (managing free choice in Applications and getting students to produce great writer’s statements in 12 English Communications)

6.4  Apply professional learning and improve student learning

Five colleagues and I completed a Professional Development with AISSA on functional grammar. Titled How Language Works: Success in Literacy and Learning and run over six days, it was a fantastic course and I have been applying what I have learned. For example I use the Genre Taxonomy to structure my English courses so that we work on progressively more difficult genres as the year progresses and I have been teaching nominalisation and nominal groups with much greater understanding of their power to develop writing.

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