What makes great professional learning? Research indicates that the best professional learning occurs on the job, when teachers can learn from direct experience and frequent feedback about their strengths and how to improve on teaching the content and students for which they are responsible.
One of the major benefits of Opportunity Culture models is that teachers can free time during the school day to co-plan, co-teach, and co-learn. Schools can schedule subject or grade-level teaching teams to be available at the same times. Both multi-classroom leaders and experienced teachers directly extending their reach to more students (elementary specialists and those using Time Swaps—blended-learning teachers and expanded-impact teachers) can mentor and lead peers during school-hour planning time. Team-teaching roles explicitly include learning on the job in a team committed to excellence for all students.
While following the Opportunity Culture Principles, schools and districts should also adhere to principles on designing, implementing, and communicating Opportunity Culture teacher-led professional learning. See the full Teacher-Led Professional Learning Principles.
In these pages, we provide a simple framework of the elements of effective on-the-job professional learning from teacher-leaders in an Opportunity Culture, for which we also drew on materials and research from non-Opportunity Culture schools. The tools and materials will be helpful to schools designing teacher-led professional learning in any context, not just the high-authority, full-responsibility roles in Opportunity Culture schools.
Please see these websites for more about teacher-led-professional learning:
Teacher-Led Professional Learning: http://teacherledprofessionallearning.org/
GTLC Innovation Station: http://www.gtlcenter.org/learning-hub/innovation-station/extending-reach
Here we cover the following topics:
- Teacher-Led Professional Learning Principles
- Defining Teacher-Leader Roles
- Selecting Teacher-Leaders
- Finding Time for Professional Learning
- Funding for Teacher-Leadership
- Evaluating Teacher-Leaders