Sunday, September 21, 2008

PD Days

Here we go, about to hit another set of PD days. Admin is currently looking for topics to use for in-school PD. Luckily I'm off to an out of school PD, which I am hoping is going to be ok.

So that I'm not all critic and no solutions, I thought about what would I like to have at a PD session.

Firstly I'd like it at the end of term and to be more of a planning session. The last days of term are rife with missing students and kids on holiday. Let's use one of the days when students are generally AWOL for PD rather than one where the kids would be present fresh and keen.

Being the last day of term it would be the best time to reflect on what has been done and what could be done better next term and next year. Review each course and note what has worked and what has not. Do any handover to the teacher for the following year if teaching loads are to change. If we have set performance management goals at the start of the year, let's review them now. I know teachers are tired at this time, but if team lead (and teachers are encouraged to share successes and failures) and line management driven it could be a very effective tool to promote student performance especially if teachers are forewarned at the start of term of this intent.

Secondly I'd like it HoD lead rather than admin lead. Heads of department report on successes and failures and course/staffing changes to line managers such that changes can be implemented and hopefully improvement seen the following year. The success of the department becomes a performance management measureable for HoDs.

Lastly I'd like it to take a long and short view. There needs to be time to address/discuss immediate issues and report on what has been done about past issues. There also needs to be time dedicated to setting medium to long term goals that are meaningful. Managed statistics should be collated of where students are headed - initially teacher based decisions in earlier years leading to student based intentions as students move to year 11/12. For instance from year 8 cohort, 22 identified possible TEE students. Year 9 cohort, 15 of 17 originally bound for TEE in yr 8 + 2 new possible students etc. This could also be used for future proofing/planning for staffing issues. It would also help hone identification of students at an early age, the ability of the school to mentor students through middle years, identify where the system is working/failing and overall measure the performance of the school in converting students from potential to actual university/VET candidates.

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