I.P.D.P- Individual Professional Development Plan

Teachers set their own goals for growth, and work with an advisor who creates a plan to facilitate learning for the teacher.

Photo of Jessica Mossman
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No more untimely, impersonable, unuseful professional development! Teachers use their own reflection, data, or feedback from an administrator to set 1-2 professional development goals for approximately a 9 week period. They then work with an professional development advisor who creates a plan of action and personalized learning for the teacher. This may include professional readings, peer observations/reflections, modeling, co-planning, or conferencing. Each plan is based on the teacher's needs and learning styles. 

The professional development advisor can then facilitate the individual plan in various ways. The plan may require the teacher to have a substitute in his/her classroom for a block of time so he/she is available to carry out the plan. One plan period a week or weekly PLC time may be devoted to working with the professional development advisor to carry out the plan. At the end of the time period, the teacher reflects on their growth and adjusts or resets goals for the next period of time.  

This type of professional development is formative in nature, and relies heavily on a relationship between the advisor and the teacher. By making professional development more timely and more in tune with teacher needs it also gives the teacher an attainable goal to work toward. We don't give students a 1 hour lecture on a concept and then expect them to be able to carry out the idea with mastery. Similar to students, teachers need goals, feedback, and targeted instruction to help them grow professionally. 

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Example IPDP

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Photo of Chris Good
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Hey everyone - lets get together to EVOLVE this idea and merge it with the ideas in IEP for PD
How about a Google Hangout?
Below is a Doodle poll - lets pick a date and I can send out the hangout link for that day!
http://doodle.com/poll/ywvn267rn34fx8g4



@Paula Marra @Jessica Mossman @Michael Schurr @Margaret Powers @Sarah Lundy @chris Fancher @John Faig @Jeremy Fatrock @Kim Ribeiro

Photo of Paula Marra
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I am looking forward to seeing where you take this idea when we move to the evolve phase. Bringing this idea to life! 

Photo of chris fancher
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Why is it that I find the most hurdles in the ideas I like best? So, questions I see coming up (from interactions with teachers as an instructional coach): What is the relationship between these teacher advisors and administrators (who assess teachers)? Who becomes a teacher advisor and is there a stipend involved? How do we teach/show teachers how to be reflective? What if a teacher doesn't meet their goal - will this fact impact how the teacher is assessed by administration? I can think of others but....How Might We change school culture to embrace teacher reflection and self growth? Love this idea and would love to see it in action.

Photo of Margaret Powers
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Great points Chris. I have seen some schools with roles specifically for professional development. What if a school had 1-2 "Learning Catalysts" or "Professional Growth Guides" who were hired to specifically help faculty create and maintain their IDPDs? I wonder if teachers could also outline in their plans how they will assess their own learning and demonstrate their new understandings so it's teacher-drive and clear from the outset how they will be evaluated and primarily that evaluation could be a self-assessment that's reviewed by the Learning Catalyst. Questions I have are, how do you start something like this? Where does the time come from because I imagine there being time needed to create the plan, do the learning, create the learning product or implement it, and that's a lot of time.

Photo of John Faig
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Margaret Powers I think that a teacher (with a personal PD plan) and a mentor is a small enough group to where the teachers can find convenient times to get together.  I think  the larger PD groups are more challenging to schedule.  

Photo of Chris Good
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:-) I think I totally ripped off your post. 

This is is a great idea!  Do you see the advisor as a full time position? Is this one person per grade level, one for the whole school? 

Or, perhaps it is an even smaller scale where teachers volunteer to be advisors and take same groups of five or fewer people under their wing?

love where this is going!

Photo of Jessica Mossman
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I think it could easily be one full time position in a school (depending on how many teachers are on staff). Having someone solely devoted to this is important because it allows that person to focus on supporting and helping teachers carry out their plan. If teachers or mentors are used, their focus easily gets pulled elsewhere and they have their own classes to teach and duties to carry out. The person who is the advisor would need the skills of being detailed oriented and being able to effectively work with others in a supportive manner, but would not necessarily need to be a master/expert teacher. They don't necessarily need to be a master/expert because they are helping carry out the plan. This might mean they help find professional readings and read/discuss with the teacher. They may find a teacher for the other teacher to observe, but don't have to model it themself. 

Photo of Paula Marra
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I think would be great if you and Jessica teamed up and we evolved this idea together. I could create a gdrive and we could continue to flesh this idea out. 

Photo of Chris Good
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I'm in - sounds exciting. - There area also a lot of parallels and synergies here with other posts. I am going to compile a short list of ideas that could be combined and borrowed from some of the many discoveries and ideas already explored  - see above!!!

Photo of Jessica Mossman
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I would be in too!

Photo of Paula Marra
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Fantastic! You should add each other as team member in each other's post, and me as well. We will flesh this idea out together!  Awesomeness in the air!

Photo of Chris Good
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Building off of several other posts  - here are some thoughts that might be applied to flesh out this idea:

1. Pairing an Individual Learning Plan with a full time advisor whose only role is to facilitate ways for learners to achieve their goals. The individualized plan could be one that is updated frequently (at least more than annually - preferably several times a year or any time the learner's goals change).
As well , this plan could be structured and implemented in an "Inspirational" vs managerial or bureaucratic fashion - boasting less prescribed structure and more individual freedom for the learner.
https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-reimagine-professional-learning-so-that-we-continue-to-grow-feel-inspired-and-have-impact-in-the-lives-of-our-students/ideas/annual-learning-plans

2. It could begin with some degree of self assessment and exploration to identify where the learner wants to personally go, where they currently stand, what gaps need to be addressed to reach their goals, and what experiments or experiences might be worth exploring along that journey.
https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-reimagine-professional-learning-so-that-we-continue-to-grow-feel-inspired-and-have-impact-in-the-lives-of-our-students/research/what-can-we-learn-from-the-5-discoveries-of-self-directed-learning

3. The journey could be co-planned with the advisor and the learner (with the advisor serving much like a travel agent). Emphasis could be placed on experiences that take the learner outside their comfort zone to a place where all experiences would be new, challenging, and slightly uncomfortable.
https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-reimagine-professional-learning-so-that-we-continue-to-grow-feel-inspired-and-have-impact-in-the-lives-of-our-students/research/learning-zone

4. In addition to providing regular check-ins, guidance, and moral support - the advisor could take an active role in managing all of the logistics required to a learner to achieve their goals. This could include scheduling external field trips, day long explorations, attendance at conferences, or one on one interviews with other peers or industry professionals. This could even include scheduling substitutes or getting administrative permissions.
https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-reimagine-professional-learning-so-that-we-continue-to-grow-feel-inspired-and-have-impact-in-the-lives-of-our-students/ideas/find-your-own-path

5. lastly the most important role of the advisor could be to serve as instigator, enabler, and partner in crime in pushing the learner to do more than simply "check the box" - but rather engage in a regular process of self exploration and renewal.
https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-reimagine-professional-learning-so-that-we-continue-to-grow-feel-inspired-and-have-impact-in-the-lives-of-our-students/ideas/an-iep-for-pd

Just a few ideas to tie together some of the amazing thoughts floating around here!

Photo of Jessica Mossman
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Yes! Great compilation of ideas! Thanks Chris! 

Photo of Jeremy Fatrock
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Hey All,
In Toronto, we have something called Annual Learning Plans that teachers need to fill out each year (https://www.ett.ca/tdsb-experienced-teachers-annual-learning-plan-appendix-h/) as a part of their province-mandated performance appraisal. The idea is similar to what's been said here, except that it's on a yearly basis (too big a window, in my opinion) and it's an administrator who collects the forms - which touches on Chris' point. In the end, the system isn't actually all that effective because there are way too many teachers/forms for any real follow through to happen by either side. The process is largely one where teachers fill out the form because they have to, and Admin take a quick look at them when they're handed in and then never again.

I thought I would add the form as a template for people to look at, and then see if there are any other ideas on how to keep this kind of process from becoming a too bureaucratic.

Photo of Jessica Mossman
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Thanks for sharing! For me, when a principal is the "partner" in the individual plan a few things happen. 1. Is what Jeremy described, principals just run out of time to truly be partners and it ends up being a hoop to jump through. 2. When a principal is the "partner" in the plan, the plan becomes or feels evaluative. The purpose of professional development is to grow and improve, not be evaluated. Having a collaborative person like the PD advisor is important  because it takes the evaluation piece out of it and if that person's job is to simply collaborate and help support/carry out plans they can focus and give individual attention. 

Photo of Jeremy Fatrock
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It is DEFINITELY meant to be evaluative, and so loses a lot of its underlying purpose. 

Also, I figured I wouldn't hijack your thread so I started it as a new one. I'm curious about how else we can get away from that need for it to be evaluative, as well as reasonable to implement (it would seem like it would take quite a few teachers quite a bit of time to implement a genuine, individualized process, and I don't know if schools/teachers would go for the cost/hours.

Photo of Kim Ribeiro
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I was lucky enough to have a mentor from the Santa Cruz New Teacher Center oversee my BTSA process and the relationship was much like the one you propose. My mentor worked for SCNTC and so she was able to devote all her time and energy to supporting new teachers and she wasn't affiliated with our admin or district office. I'm not sure how this could be implemented widely, but my experience of it was incredible and probably responsible for my survival as a new teacher!

Photo of Jessica Mossman
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I think you said 2 really important pieces here " she was able to devote all her time and energy to supporting new teachers and she wasn't affiliated with our admin or district office." That allows the advisor to focus their energy on individuals and allows PD to be about growth, not evaluation. 

Photo of Kirsten Franklin
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I like the personalization and the specific time frame. A culture of trust would be so important between teachers and admin.

Photo of Emma Scripps
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Jessica! Fantastic idea. I could see that really helping teachers set more personal goals based on real data. I had something similar when I was student teaching actually - and loved it. I wonder if any districts currently use this system and if so - how they've scaled it.