As a school or district administrator or instructional coach, have you ever asked yourself the following questions:
Are teachers using the curriculum with fidelity?
Are teachers using data to plan instruction?
Are they lesson planning?
While these are authentic topics for professional learning, it is clear that this approach is very teacher-focused, which might not create the most positive results in school transformation. Rather, a more effective approach would be a student-centered collaborative professional learning structure wherein the school community invests in mutually developing the strategies and content that advances the learning of the students.
At BetterLesson we believe that taking a student-centered approach to professional learning is a win for everyone. Providing teachers with a student-facing approach to professional learning shifts the focus away from what feels personal to teachers, and onto their shared purpose --- supporting students to be successful. To learn more about this type of professional learning, explore the Collaborative Professional Learning domain in the BetterLesson Lab.
At BetterLesson, we believe in leveraging the teachers' shared purpose and passion by making their work with each other and with us collaborative. By shifting the conversation away from "what teachers are doing in the classroom" to "what students need to do in order to be successful", teachers can feel more comfortable and empowered to make positive changes.
To learn how to build student-centered collaborative professional development in your school or district, explore the following BetterLesson strategies:
- In the strategy Building a Professional Learning Community: It's About the Students, steps, tips, and tools are provided to support the shift to a collaborative teaching community with a student-centered focus.
- In Create a Define-Explore-Build Workshop, we share how to lead a guided student-centered teacher professional learning experience. Does focusing on changing students change the teaching? Absolutely!
- In the Collaborate to Analyze Progress and Increase Impact of Coaching strategy we share tips and resources in creating a collaborative space to analyze and amplify progress made by a cohort of teachers being coached.
At BetterLesson we also believe that, like all manageable systemic change, participants need a clear and shared objective and well as time and ongoing support. BetterLesson coaches are trained to support all faculty members in a non-evaluative way, in making this shift to a student-facing collaborative professional learning model. If you’d like some support, a BetterLesson Instructional Coach can help!