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

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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Growth mindset: what you need to know

Posted by Rosie Neill on 4/10/18 11:18 AM

Over the past few years, the concept of a 'Growth Mindset' has become increasingly popular.  Discovered by Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, growth mindset is the idea that our intelligence isn't fixed. Dweck found that students who believe they can develop their basic abilities and improve themselves have greater motivation and higher achievement than those who see their abilities as fixed and unchangeable.

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What kind of professional development do teachers really want?

Posted by Rosie Neill on 3/23/17 11:47 AM


Discover PD that teachers really want

We recently asked 1000 teachers what professional development activities they would prioritize if they were in control of their PD, and received some interesting insights.

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How to achieve transformational leadership with video coaching

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 3/6/17 3:00 PM

Of all the school factors related to student achievement, the one that has the greatest impact is teaching quality.

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Action plan for a good professional development budget ROI [Podcast]

Posted by Rosie Neill on 2/23/17 3:26 PM

America spends over $18 billion dollars a year on teacher professional development.

In this podcast, Shawn Edmondson, CEO of IRIS Connect and Mike Fleetham, Expert Education Coach and Consultant, discuss how you can ensure you are investing this money wisely to see a real impact on teaching and learning.

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The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): 5 implications for professional development

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 2/23/17 3:23 PM

In December, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law, replacing the unpopular No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

ESSA takes full effect in the 2017-2018 school year and is one of the most important pieces of education legislation in recent history. However, with more than 1,000 pages outlining new programs, rules, and, funding allocations, it’s a lot of information for busy educators to digest. In fact, a recent survey by the NWEA and Gallup found that only 55% of superintendents and 41% of principals are familiar with ESSA.

To make sense of it all, we’ve identified five of the most significant implications for teacher professional development.

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Using video for teacher PD: 10 Ideas

Posted by Rosie Neill on 2/23/17 3:21 PM

Research shows that using video for teacher PD is a tool that has significant benefits. By putting the teacher in control of their own PD, video takes simple lesson observation further.

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