will be presenting along with ReVision Learning Partnership next week at the Learning Forward Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Learning Forward Conference, entitled Connecting Landscapes for Learning, has been designed this year to examine the impact of professional learning and quality feedback on teacher practice and student outcomes and increasing coherence and relevance of professional development.
The attention to these ideas in West Hartford and Canton Public Schools cannot be questioned and it is only fitting that their efforts will be recognized in this international setting.
Next Tuesday, Natalie Simpson, Assistant Director of Human Resources of West Hartford Public Schools and Jordan Grossman, Assistant Superintendent of Canton Public Schools will lead a session for “advanced leaders” that focuses on their districts’ successful journey to shift the focus of teacher evaluation from an inspection model to a growth model. Participants will learn how these two districts designed, implemented, and analyzed the professional learning for leaders to more directly support student learning in the classroom. The importance of student outcomes in West Hartford and Canton classrooms has become the core focus of observation and feedback for on-going learning and support.
Professional Learning in West Hartford and Canton: It Begins with Great Leaders
What has been most impressive about the professional learning designs for leadership in these two districts has been the coherence they have sought to establish. Each district has designed learning opportunities that go beyond the simple workshop approach, targeting, instead, the most important aspect of educational leadership practice – serving as an instructional leader.
Focusing on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of an instructional leader for all members of their administration has led to a more coherent and meaningful implementation to their supervision and evaluation practice.
Professional learning has been designed and implemented to ensure that each building and district-level administrator, department head, and curriculum leader has the capacity to observe for and provide feedback about the way students are learning in classrooms. In this manner, the districts have chosen to ensure supervision and evaluation is focused on supporting teachers directly in the most important aspect of their jobs – knowing what kids are learning and how a teacher’s practice is impacting that learning.
Round Table Discussions
Recently, ReVision Learning sponsored a Round Table discussion with six leaders from these two CT districts in which leaders described how their district’s professional learning program directly impacted their practice and support for the teachers they serve.
Supporting teachers by shifting their observations from a simple assessment of teacher practice to a careful examination of student learning has helped these two CT districts to create more substantial and meaningful outcomes from their on-going supervision and evaluation practice.
Two videos were created to help capture and share the work that is happening in these two districts. It is our hope that these can prove helpful to other district leaders as they consider the design, implementation and impact of their leaders’ professional learning.
An abbreviated version providing just a few highlights
More extensive footage of the Round Table discussions.
We have been honored to have had the opportunity to work with these two districts for the past few years and we encourage other district leaders to reach out to them to hear more about the outstanding work and outcomes within these two districts.