As professionals, we set goals for ourselves and our growth each year. In years past, we have worked towards continuous improvement on large-scale goals, but we haven't always carved out the time throughout the year to ensure we were regularly checking in on progress and working with like-minded colleagues.
That's where our PLP meetings have come in this year. ISP teachers are gathering in inter-divisional groups each Wednesday. These groups were formed by bringing together teachers whose inquiry goals are based on similar themes, such as questioning or reflective strategies.
Teachers then investigate these topics through the Inquiry Cycle laid out in Kath Murdoch's book The Power of Inquiry. In so doing, teachers have been able to "tune in, find out, sort out and reflect upon" their work.
Elementary school Dean of Students Dan Conzelman, who took a facilitation role in one group, shared his reflections on the experience: "PLP groups have allowed for a shift in our culture toward inquiry based learning. Working with PLP groups has opened up channels for teachers to collaborate across divisions and foster cross-age learning opportunities for students.”
Secondary school French and Spanish as an Additional Language teacher Luigi Marrone added to these reflections:
“We are working not only on the theory of The Power of Inquiry, but we are also modeling and interacting about best practices together as a group. We are particularly focused on implementing teaching strategies that are both measurable and achievable. It's my hope that our work on this will ensure that students take their learning - and their understanding - beyond their experiences in each of our individual classes.
I have been exposed to other parts of the school - such as Theory of Knowledge in our IB program - that I haven't worked with in the past. We have a mixed group with elementary, middle and high school teachers. I have not had the opportunity to interact with people from different divisions through our alignment on similar issues and now we are using common language.”
We look forward to continuing our work together into second semester, which will culminate in sharing out our learning journeys and achievements.