In order to test the plan that I shared last time, I decided the best thing to do would be to send it out to all the people that would be affected by it if it was adopted (all the teachers and administrators at my school). I gave the teachers multiple ways that they could respond (comment on the document itself, anonymously comment on a separate document that I created, email me, or drop by the office). I felt that this would be the best test, because they are the ones that will be most affected by it if it were actually to be adopted.
This is a busy time of year for us (end of six weeks and the last week before Spring Break), so I was unsure what to expect in terms of participation. I wound up with around eight teachers responding (it’s hard to tell with the anonymous document, but it looks like only one teacher utilized it).
Overall the feedback was positive, including one teacher that asked me if we were really going to use it and if so if she could help organize it. However, there were several issues that were pointed out that need to be addressed as I go back to the prototype phase:
- Further clarification is needed as to what the hallmarks are of the four levels that I mentioned the PD sessions would be divided into
- The number of teachers available may not allow for three sessions per hour unless it is the same sessions each time period (which is what I was thinking); however, that would mean those teachers would not be able to go to sessions
- The majority of the feedback indicated that it would be wise to have a list of suggestions for areas the cohorts would be focusing on with an “other” option for those that want to branch out
- It was mentioned that teachers will not want to go to PD during the beginning of the year workdays, but if we don’t use one of them the first required work day isn’t until February.
- It was also asked why teachers who have enough CEUs would be required to go to sessions.
- Several teachers requested a definition of artifact and when that artifact would actually be due.
- Several teachers also requested a better way to keep up with CEUs than what we currently have (piece of paper).
- One teacher mentioned that we need a way to evaluate the sessions that is sensitive to the fact that they are being provided by colleagues.
- It was suggested that providing food for the cohorts would increase the likelihood that they would actually meet.
- One teacher hated the cohort idea because she “doesn’t want to be forced to sit around and share what she learned.”
- Finally, the teacher wrote this better than I could. “I would add a clarifying statement about how ALL of the PD supported by a school using this delivery plan is directed by the overarching goals set by the School Improvement Team that are based on student achievement data or other classroom-based metrics.”
The plan now is to take these suggestions (and the ones given by the instructor) and tweak some of the wording. I particularly want to clarify the levels and artifacts. I also need to find a good way to keep up with CEUs effectively until they can be entered into the state website. Additionally, I would like to clarify the importance of the SIP in determining the focus of the cohorts. I also need to do a better job of explaining that PD will be available throughout the year online.
The process of testing has really helped to clarify for me weak areas. I was aware of some of them, but most I wouldn’t have seen. Without testing, the final product wouldn’t be as good as it could be.