As teachers, we know that personalized learning is best for our students. We make every effort to ensure that our students are engaged in relevant, meaningful learning that is directly aligned to their needs, interests, and learning styles. We promote curiosity and creativity, encouraging our students to work collaboratively and to share and reflect on their learning.
Shouldn’t the same apply to teachers? Professional development should be relevant and meaningful, and target the varied interests and needs of teachers.
As a coach, I should not assume that all teachers will benefit from the same type of coaching cycle. Cycles should vary in length and focus, based on the experience and goals of the teacher.
One way to achieve personalized professional learning is through Professional Passion Projects, in which teachers select a topic or wondering they are truly passionate and curious about. Then, they develop an action plan and are given time to learn all about it. They collaborate with colleagues and share their findings with the community. This can have a tremendous impact on the school culture, as teachers model being lifelong learners and become experts in an area they are truly interested in.