Mrs. Cook's Corner

Indicator 4c

Evaluate results of professional learning programs to determine the effectiveness on deepening teacher content knowledge, improving teacher pedagogical skills and/or increasing student learning

ISTE Coaching Standards (2014)

Throughout this Master’s program I think that reflecting (evaluating results) on my practice has been top of mind. I would like to share an example that I experienced at the beginning of our distance learning model. (I plan to go more in depth in my practicum blog future link here). About eight weeks ago, we were told that schools were closing and we had no idea what that would mean for our department. We were given tasks that we were asked to do and days, or hours later, the mandate would change and we would have new tasks. It was very confusing.

About four weeks into our Stay at Home Order, on a Monday, we were told that on Wednesday (in two days) we would be teaching EVERYONE in the district how to use MS Teams. We were given a skeleton power point and asked to create a presentation to share with 200 people in a Teams call. From our house. In the country. Shotty internet. I was doomed to fail.

With great failure comes great reflection. I definitely experienced all of the phases of the Gibbs Model of reflection.

Gibbs Model of Reflection (1988)
  • Description: 200 people on the call, who had never interacted with Teams in any great capacity, with a bandwidth that could not handle the load.
  • Feelings: I was panicked- however proud moment– I didn’t let it show, which was new for me.
  • Evaluation: Good- It only happened once. Bad- 200 people were there to experience it.
  • Analysis: Our presentation was getting in the way of accessing the tool. We put too much information into the 2 hour class and we were unable to differentiate between the level of knowledge of our students.
  • Conclusion: Take more time, anticipate issues, do a run-through.
  • Action Plan: The great thing is that we had to turn around and give the presentation again in 2 more hours. We tossed out our PowerPoint, lived in the Teams application and gave our students more time to work with the tools.

After that first call, I’ve learned so much. I spent a significant amount of time preparing and focusing on the content to be learned, so that would never happen again. Since then, I have taught more than 30 hours of PD and as I continue to build my distance learning PD style, I am constantly reflecting on my sessions and learning what I can improve on.

Looking forward to the next year, I am excited to create new PD for my librarians. In my blog post, Digital Citizenship: How do you change the culture of a school, one librarian at a time, I explain in depth the different types of PD I would like to produce in order to support the librarian’s capacity for Digital Citizenship. I am most looking forward to creating district-wide events around Digital Citizenship and developing Learning in the Loo opportunities.