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.

If you have a topic you'd like us to cover or if you're interested in covering one yourself in a guest post, please contact us.


creating a culture for school improvement
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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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10 steps for creating a positive professional development culture

Posted by Christophe Mullings on 11/19/18 9:46 AM

Refining teachers skills and practice through professional development (PD) is a key factor in any school’s success. So, cultivating a positive culture around professional development is essential, but it can be complex.

Here are 10 easy ways to help your school develop a culture where improvements in teaching and learning can thrive.

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Positive Deviance inquiry: the secret to school success

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 11/8/18 2:00 PM

How did all of the students of 3rd grade teacher Mary Dunbar Barksdale in Brazosport, Texas achieve remarkably high scores on the statewide test, despite the fact that 94% of her students lived in poverty?

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What is instructional coaching? Is it the best form of PD?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 10/20/18 2:45 PM

At the recent ResearchEd 18 event in London, we learned all about instructional coaching, which is, according to researcher Sam Sims, “probably the best-evidenced form of PD currently known to mankind”.

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How to build an effective instructional coaching program

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 10/19/18 2:46 PM

As coaching trainer Peter DeWitt said in his blog 3 Reasons Instructional Coaching May Not Be Working, and as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching Project showed, badly done coaching can actually harm teachers’ performance.

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