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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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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The fear factor to the peer factor

Posted by Rosie Neill on 2/23/17 3:19 PM
"The power of collective capacity is that it enables ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things." - Michael Fullan, Learning is the Work

Sharing helps you to build and maintain successful learning communities, where you can swap skills and knowledge with your colleagues and be inspired by the teaching and learning taking place across your community.

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Coaching and mentoring: What’s the difference?

Posted by Rosie Neill on 2/23/17 3:15 PM

It's understandable that you might think coaching and mentoring are the same thing, but they're not. However, both have their benefits and can be used for different purposes to improve your teaching.

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Take responsibility for your own professional learning

Posted by Rosie Neill on 2/23/17 3:07 PM

Responsibility to your PD

How can you take matters into your own hands this year to ensure that both you and your students are getting the most out of your teaching?

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