As I met with our new teachers this week, I began to reflect on what I shared with them about their new school. More specifically, how we support a professional and positive school culture for all teachers and students.
I don’t think there is a school or educator out there that tries to avoid having a professional learning culture, but at the same time I believe it is sometimes easy to say “yes, we have that” without really stopping to think about it. As research shows teacher efficacy is a powerful influence on student learning, we must be clear on supporting the growth of all of our teachers. Dylan Wiliam’s clip on how every teacher can improve supports this idea clearly.
As new teachers joining the school, I want them to understand the professional culture we have while at the same time understand their role in contributing and building the culture as well. Once we share that vision and understand our roles and responsibilities, we can then continue to share tools and ideas towards reaching that vision.
A few tools/ideas we use in our school include the following.
Google Site – Teachers contribute resources and best practice support for teachers to inform their practice and improve student learning.
Professional Book Club – Teachers volunteer to join the book club, read the book, get together to discuss and plan how it will impact our teaching and student learning.
Encouraging participation in The Singapore/Malaysia PYP Network events offered throughout the year. This includes our Network’s hashtag #singmalaypyp and contributing to our Network’s Blog, the red dot.
I also recently shared an open doc for Networks for Educators in Singapore in order to ensure we are aware of the different opportunities for us as educators in Singapore.
As the academic year begins this week, I aim to ensure our new and returning teachers understand the professional culture we have while at the same time understand their role in contributing and building the culture as well. This allows us to focus on student learning, grow in our practice, and remain accountable to our students.