I have spent today working with the North Carolina Digital Coaches Leadership Network (NCDLCN) in Asheville. NCDLCN is administered by the Friday Institute and funded through the NC Legislature. I have worked with NCDLCN over the course this year as a mentor and attended it last year as a participant. NCDLCN has been a great opportunity to transform into a stronger coach to better support teachers to improve student learning. I am very appreciative for this opportunity. While I had many "aha" moments today, one experienced that stood out occurred during the mentor session where we investigated effective professional learning. We looked specifically at how we create professional learning experiences with our school staffs and how adults view professional learning opportunities. One specific take-away that I had involved the idea of "creator bias." As a person who is charged with creating powerful and transformative professional learning, I always strive to create professional learning opportunities that engage staff members and help them improve student learning. But I had never considered the role of my individual bias toward creating these sessions. I am partial to interpersonal activities such as discussions and forums. I strongly feel that conversations allow individuals to synthesize their thoughts. While I still believe that this is an effective strategy to incorporate into professional learning, it helped me realize that some teachers may find this kind of activity or other activity stressful since it may not be inline with their particular strengths or aptitudes. This also leads to a larger epiphany that professional learning should include a variety of strategies to appeal to all learning styles. Additionally, activities should be geared to compliment the identified strengths of all staff members. Those, like me, who offer professional learning must incorporate and play to the strengths of those receiving the professional learning. With the creation of any professional learning, we must apply UID in which we begin with the "end in mind" and determine the learning outcomes. We must carefully choose strategies and activities that best serve all staff involved. As I begin planning my professional learning development for the coming year, I will definitely be aware of my personal bias and will activity incorporate the strengths of teachers that I am serving.
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The ideas shared here are my own and do not necessarily represent my employers, associations, or organizations. These thoughts are entirely my own.