Exploring what makes great PD

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

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creating a culture for school improvement
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Teacher wellbeing and PD, is there a link?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 3/4/19 10:17 AM

The teaching profession is increasingly associated with stress and burnout. The Engaging Teachers report from National Foundation of Educational Research (2016) found that high teacher workload is associated with poor health and staff feeling undervalued.

The number of teachers seeking support for their mental health via the Education Support Partnerships’ confidential helpline increased by 35 per cent from April 2017 to March 2018.

This is by no means new news, but as we all become more aware of the importance of talking about and addressing mental health, schools are having to take more responsibility for the wellbeing of their staff.

business people group joining hands and representing concept of friendship and teamwork,  low angle view

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How healthy is your school's professional development culture?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 2/25/19 11:26 AM

Developing a professional development culture takes time and effort. It can't be imposed or imported overnight. That being said, there are things that school leaders like your self can do to create an environment where teachers want to learn and develop their instructional practice. 

Get started by reflecting on the following 7 questions...

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Training vs professional development - what's the difference and does it matter?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 2/11/19 10:20 AM

When we think of teachers’ professional development (PD), it’s often the one-off training courses that first spring to mind. But, as well as single training sessions, the term PD also covers teaching and learning activities designed to help teachers develop their practice; from research, self-reflection and lesson observations to Lesson Study, feedback and coaching.  

Before we discuss the difference between training and development, and their roles in effective PD, let’s start by taking a deeper look at what PD is.

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Teacher confidence (efficacy): Why does it matter and how can school leaders improve it?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 1/28/19 10:37 AM

Efficacy - or a teacher’s level of confidence in their abilities - can be highly influenced by past experiences or your current school culture. For example, a bad classroom experience or negative work environment can quickly diminish a teacher’s confidence.

Interestingly, seeing students grow and working in a collaborative environment can boost a teacher’s belief in their ability and improve performance. Research also suggests that teachers with a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to be better planners, more resilient through failure, and more open-minded and supportive with students.

Successful young business couple working together on a self-employed business posing at a desk in their office smiling at the camera

 

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6 tips for giving more effective observation feedback

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 1/21/19 10:55 AM

Have you recently given someone observation feedback? Did you feel like you motivated your colleague and inspired them to try different teaching methods?

If you've ever been on the receiving end of poor feedback then you'll know how unhelpful it is. Feedback is highly personal and can either make or break a situation. According to Professor John Hattie, receiving effective feedback is the factor that has the most impact on a student’s progress. This can also be applied to a teachers’ professional development (PD), making it one of the most important aspects of PD.

So, to get the most out of observation feedback, you should always be looking for better ways to give it, whether formally or informally. Here are 6 tips...

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5 podcasts for school administrators and leaders

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 1/16/19 9:05 AM

Podcasts can contain a world of inspiring ideas, tips, and advice making them a great resources for school administrators, emerging leaders, and educational influencers.

Whether you listen to them on your commute to work, on your lunch break, or in the evening at home with a glass of something refreshing, you can guarantee you’ll walk away having learnt something.

We’ve combed the internet for the cream of the crop. Here are 5 podcasts we think are worth checking out:

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Is this the future of work-life balance?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 12/18/18 9:43 AM

Work-life balance is a sensitive subject, particularly in the education sector... so what do you make of author and peak performance expert, Dan Thurmon's quirky suggestion for how to get a better handle on your life?

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7 ways to keep teachers motivated

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 12/5/18 9:58 AM

As a member of your school's leadership team, keeping your teachers motivated is one of your most important roles and an essential part of your students’ overall success. But keeping teachers motivated can also be challenging. Take the time to experiment with some of these tips to find what works best in your school.

Here are 7 tips to keep your teachers motivated throughout the school year:

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