At SPW the Performance Development of our teachers is of utmost importance. Our teaching staff are exceptional and we understand the significance of investing in their ongoing development.
As a team we’re constantly striving to learn, to expand our knowledge and be responsive to an ever- changing environment in the field of education. We understand we must provide students with the best education and therefore need to reflect, assess and improve our practices continuously. SPW utilises a number of different Performance Development tools and activities. One new approach we’ve embarked on this year is the LeadLearn program.
Designed by experienced, expert Educational Consultants, the LeadLearn program provides teachers with measurable data of their practice. In evaluating the data, participants gain important insights, promoting analyses of areas that may need development.
OUR LEADLEARN JOURNEY
At the beginning of 2019 all Primary teachers participated in the LeadLearn program. The LeadLearn consultants conducted an anonymous student survey across all Primary classes, giving students the opportunity to respond to their teacher’s performance.
The teachers received the confidential data, reviewed it, and with the assistance of an external consultant (coach), were able to analyse and assess the areas where opportunities for growth, development and success may exist in their teaching.
In collaboration with their peers and in consultation with coaches, teachers were invited to explore new ideas and ways of addressing or enhancing the areas highlighted in the data.
Strategies were developed and implemented in the classroom and the students were surveyed again approximately 8 weeks later. This exercise provided the teachers with comparable data to measure the effectiveness of the new approach against the original survey data.
The LeadLearn cycle of survey, data analysis and reflection, implementation of new strategy and further reflection, will be an ongoing part of our teaching practises at SPW.
LeadLearn is one of the most efficient, concise and targeted Performance Development tools we’ve undertaken here at SPW and we are thrilled to see the tangible results it is producing.
The nature of the program allows teachers the opportunity to hone in on the skill of self-reflection, which feeds seamlessly into developing strategies to address key components of their practice.
The confidential data invites teachers to take ownership of their individual growth by setting specific measurable goals beneficial to their practice. To give the teachers a tool that has the ability to track their performance holds endless potential, it enables them to explore and delve deeper into areas that perhaps they hadn’t considered before.
Furthermore, student voice is at the centre of this program, which is perhaps one of the most unique and exciting components of LeadLearn. It empowers teachers to better understand how their practice is being received from those that matter most, the students. It gives them insight into how the students want to learn and what interests them.
Lastly, it provides a space where teachers are able to model the skill of giving and receiving feedback in a positive and constructive manner – a skill that is crucial for our students to develop as they confront an ever-changing landscape.
“LeadLearn has been an outstanding opportunity for our teaching staff to gather and reflect on student voice, to ensure they’re meeting the needs of every learner.” – Amanda Kelly
As SPW moves forward with LeadLearn, a small group of nominated SPW teachers have recently undertaken coach training.
These teachers now have the skills to walk shoulder to shoulder with other teachers in the role of the coach, to facilitate the survey cycle and provide support in unpacking the data.
Those that undertook the coach training reported that the experience has allowed them to understand the bigger picture of the LeadLearn program and further highlighted how rich and versatile the data is.
“The ability to listen to someone and support them to unpack their thoughts and guide those thoughts into concrete solutions is a great skill for both my professional and personal life” Cathy Kowalick, Coach Trainee.
THE NEXT STEPS
In 2020 a specific program for the Early Learning Centre will be designed to allow children from 2 – 4 years of age the opportunity to respond to their learning environment. This exciting development demonstrates our commitment to giving students a voice, no matter what their age, to positively impact their learning.
SPW understands the impact a teacher can have on a child and it’s our commitment that the already high level of education SPW provides only continues to grow.
Thank you Principal Chris Prance for sharing this story.