Showing posts with label Expert Teachers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Expert Teachers. Show all posts

Friday, 26 January 2018

Student Survey of Teachers

Asking students to share their opinion is one way of giving students ownership of their learning. This feeling of empowerment is an important part of a progressive education. In December and May of each school year, we have all of our students complete a survey developed by Panorama Education for each of their classes. The questions on this survey measure student perceptions of teaching and learning.
Teachers receive a comprehensive online report which allows them to examine the results from many perspectives. They can also track their progress in various areas over the year and from year to year. In recent weeks, our Centre for Teaching and Learning staff have helped our staff reflect on their results and use this process to develop goals for the second half of the year. This process benefits students as it allows teachers to alter approaches so that all students are engaged in learning.

We can also view these results from a whole-school perspective, which helps us to tweak our annual school goals. Doing so, has enabled us to adjust some of our upcoming Wednesday PD sessions for teachers and provide them with customized learning opportunities relevant to their survey results.  Customized learning is not only good for students, it also benefits teachers.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Learning the Fundamentals of Digital Media

Using digital tools to communicate is an important part of a 21st Century education.  At Greenwood, one of the ways students learn this type of communication is through participation in our digital arts classes.
In Grade 7, students are introduced to fundamental digital programs, such as Photoshop. By designing assignments like “Create Your Dream Meal” students learn how to use the tools in this program (and learn a little bit about healthy eating habits!)



The course is designed so students can work at an individual pace. However, when they need expert advice, the teacher is able to provide timely one-on-one support.




Before submitting their completed meal, students use the success criteria for this assignment to self-assess or get feedback from a peer and complete any necessary refinements.




By connecting technology with the process of learning, students engage in a meaningful design experience.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Ensuring Continued Growth: Greenwood's Expert Teacher Program

Expert teachers Tony Costa (pictured left with teacher Alex Hurley) and Amanda Lester
provide conversational coaching to teachers who have been at Greenwood for 4+ years.

How does Greenwood stay on the leading edge of customized learning? Ongoing professional development is a big piece of the puzzle. Expert teachers Tony Costa and Amanda Lester work with experienced Greenwood teachers to ensure their continued growth.

What is the Expert Teacher Program?


Working out of the Greenwood Centre for Teaching and Learning, Tony and Amanda - both accomplished Greenwood teachers - work with colleagues who have been at the school for four or more years. In addition to providing conversational coaching to these teachers, Tony and Amanda are a professional development resource for all teachers. They also meet weekly with Mary Gauthier, Executive Director of the Greenwood Centre for Teaching and Learning, which supports their growth as expert teachers.

Why become an expert teacher?


For Amanda, the expert teacher role seemed like a natural next step. “I had already been a subject team leader and a mentor for newer teachers,” she says. “I really enjoyed collaborating with teachers, so this opportunity really excited me.”

In Tony’s case, he saw the potential of the role and wanted to be a part of shaping it. “I felt it was so important that this position was conversation-based, and that it was a two-way exchange of information,” he says. “Amanda and I are always learning, too.”

Supporting Professional Growth for 4+ Teachers


In keeping with Greenwood’s customized approach to learning, the coaching Tony and Amanda provide is tailored to each teacher’s specific needs. “Depending on where people are in their careers, they may have very different goals,” Amanda says. “We work with teachers to mutually identify areas where there is opportunity for growth.”

Some examples include:

  • Refining the use of our Learning Communities
  • Using assessment to drive learning 
  • Finding new ways to incorporate technology in the classroom

After goals have been set, Tony and Amanda observe teachers as they teach; based on these observations, they provide suggestions on how teachers can incorporate new ideas and approaches into their lessons. It’s important to note that teachers are not “assigned” to one expert teacher; they can choose to meet with either Tony or Amanda, and have either expert observe their lesson. “Having two people involved adds richness to the conversation,” Tony says. “Amanda and I have different perspectives and see different things.”

Amanda and Tony observe teachers in the classroom several times throughout the year. At the end of the year, teachers will reflect on their growth and set goals accordingly for next year.

Celebrating great teaching is also key to the expert teacher role. “So many teachers here are doing amazing things,” Amanda says. “We want to ensure that their work is supported and celebrated.”

Providing & Developing Resources


Our expert teachers act as a resource for all teachers, no matter how long they’ve been at Greenwood. If they’re looking for an outside perspective on a lesson or wondering about a new classroom management technique, Tony and Amanda are there to help. They also contribute to Greenwood’s Wednesday morning professional development program - for example, they most recently ran a session on relational teaching. In delivering these PD sessions, they consistently model effective teaching practices.

In addition, Tony and Amanda regularly send teachers resources - including articles, videos and podcasts - that are targeted to their specific goals. “We don’t want to inundate people with information,” Tony says. “We want to send them resources that we know are going to be useful.”