OK here we go! For this week’s blog post I am pointing the spotlight on me. “(H)ow can (I) continue to develop (my) own skills, pedagogy and professional development on (my) own, back in (my) own library/classroom and environment”.
The first place to start is right where I am, my district offers a variety of opportunities for professional development and as a new teacher librarian I am taking advantage of all of it. The 2015-2016 school year was my first year as a teacher librarian and I was able be part of a mentorship program where another teacher librarian came in to my school library and worked one on one with me to assist me with getting up to speed with all things library. This time and her continued support was completely invaluable and set me up for success. Connecting with other professionals is key, new to this year at my school we have weekly collaboration time scheduled into school timetable. As the schools teacher librarian, I meet with both the primary and intermediate pods and we share resources and discuss ways to implement BC’s new curriculum. Though this program is still in its infancy, it has the potential to have tremendously positive effects on both teaching and learning. As discussed in the EPPI Reviews – The impact of collaborative CPD on classroom teaching and learning study, the researchers found that collaborative continuous professional development (CPD) “was linked with improvements in both teaching and learning and many of these were substantial.”
In terms of local professional development targeted for teacher librarians, our district teacher librarians meet once monthly (also a new initiative) to take a more in depth look at a resource and discuss the ways in which we can share the information with our individual school communities. Last month, we had Kevin Amboe from ERAC present ERAC resources and the new ways ERAC resources are providing connections to the BC’s new curriculum. This month, we will have our local experts in to discuss locally developed web resources and how they can be used to support learning. Not only do these meetings provide us with much needed information but also serve as a forum for connecting us with each other. When you are part of a community you feel supported and you can gain more confidence in what you are doing in your own school.
As shown in the Connected Educators YouTube, there is tremendous opportunity to connect to a global community of educators to further develop my own personal learning networks (PLN).
Using web 2.0 tools, I have started to form my own PLN using Twitter and Pinterest boards to connect to/follow peers and professional experts via their blogs or YouTube talks. This informal learning allows me to meet my needs (what I want to learn) on my terms (how, from who and when). My biggest take away is that it is not all on me; connecting and collaborating with peers is the key to successful professional development and that technology can take this process into overdrive.
I am looking forward to expanding my PLN using some of the resources listed in The Social Media Guide to Growing Your Personal Learning Network, I love that developing my own PLN is an organic process and that it can grow and change as I do. I am excited for what the future holds.
Cooke, Nicole. “Professional development 2.0 for librarians: developing an online personal learning network (PLN)”, Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 29 Issue 3 (2012): pp. 1 – 9. 14 Oct. 2016.
Cordingley, Philippa, Miranda Bell, Barbara Rundell, Donald Evans, and Anita Curtis. “The Impact of Collaborative Continuing Professional Development (CPD) on Classroom Teaching and Learning.” EPPI Reviews: The Impact of Collaborative CPD on Classroom Teaching and Learning (n.d.): n. pag. CUREE: Centre for the Use Of Research and Evidence in Education. TES Content Partner, 1 June 2003. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.
Couros, George. “21st-Century PLNs for School Leaders.” Edutopia. George Lucas Educational Foundation, 06 July 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.
Daniels, Kristin. “The Flip Side of Professional Development (EdSurge News).”EdSurge. EdSurge Inc, 10 July 2016. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.
Darling-Hammond, Linda. “Teacher Learning That Supports Student Learning: What Teachers Need to Know.” Edutopia. The George Lucas Educational Foundation, 01 May 1999. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.
Newport MESA UNified School District. “Creating a PLN.” Newport MESA UNified School District: Professional Development HVE. PowerSchool Learning, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.
Staff Writers. “The Social Media Guide to Growing Your Personal Learning Network – OnlineCollege.org.” Online Colleges, 13 Nov. 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.