Check Out Truman’s First Week Events

So last week I was wondering what the schedules looked like for local faculty development activities at the other colleges, and Don was kind enough to forward Truman’s, which he had received from President Reagan (sorry, couldn’t help it). It was filled with so many great learning opportunities that I thought it might serve as food for thought as people reflect and debrief on this year’s events and what they might like to do or see for future professional development activities.

So, I wrote to Dr. Pervez Rahman, Truman’s VP and asked for permission to share it with the world, and he was kind enough to agree, writing:

The development of the schedule was the collaborative effort of faculty and administration. I provided the administrative input and Joy Walker, chair of the Physical Science department, led on the faculty side. Also included on the committee were Professor Elia Lopez (Humanities/Art/Foreign Languages), Professor LaSandra Skinner (Business/CIS), and Professor Michael Swisher (Humanities/Art/Foreign Languages).

One and all did really impressive work, I think. Take a look at it HERE.

And congratulations to the Truman faculty and administration on what looks like a set of learning opportunities with huge potential to impact student learning through faculty education.

PS: If you haven’t been there in a while, the Truman Lounge has a new, crisp look and appears to be live again. Give them some virtual love if you get the chance…

Faculty Development Week 2011

Have you checked your e-mail in the past minute and a half?  If not, you missed this from hwc_CAST.

Hello all.  I have some very important news.

There is a very good chance that we will have 3 days of local Faculty Development here at HWC this summer and 2 days district-wide .  I received this information from a high authority, but I must warn you that it is not 100% set in stone.  Nonetheless, we need to be prepared.  CAST is charged with planning this event and did so up until last year’s little surprise.

Please follow the link below to fill out the brief survey about the programming for FDW.  Assuming that this does occur, we’ll need to move fast.  My goal is to have things in place, at least tentatively, before the end of the semester.  Yes, this is extremely ambitious, but I am confident that we can make it happen.

Thanks again.

Chris Sabino
CAST coordinator

Class Visitations

So, it’s the time of year where the people in my department start lining up class visits with adjuncts, which is always kind of hectic and kind of fun and highly educational, with that last part leading me to wonder how I can figure out how to get into more people’s classrooms and not just on my floor.

Has anybody out there done anything like this before?

Groups conducting rounds are best kept small—from three to five teachers, not counting the lead teacher. On the scheduled observation day, teachers being observed should alert their students that several teachers will visit their classroom. They might explain that the teachers are trying to learn from one another, just as students do.

When the observing teachers arrive, they should knock at the door and then quietly move to the back of the classroom, to some spot that doesn’t disrupt the flow of instruction. There they observe and take notes regarding the teacher’s use of specific instructional strategies. On an individual level, teachers can watch for strategies of particular interest to them, such as how the teacher uses questioning strategies or graphic organizers. Or the observation may have a common focus. For example, for one set of rounds, a school or district might decide that everyone will examine how a teacher communicates instructional objectives to students and keeps these objectives in the forefront of students’ minds throughout the lesson.

With focus areas identified, observing teachers record what they see during the 10 to 15 minutes that a round typically lasts. Observing teachers do not score teachers on a rubric. Rather, they take notes on teacher behaviors that relate to the observation focus areas. At the end of the observation, the observing team exits the classroom, making sure to thank the teacher and students.

Here is a suggested Protocol for conducting them. Anybody interested?

ReinQuestion–Vol. 7

ReinQuestion? appears every Thursday and is an open thread for members of the HW and CCC community to post questions about the ongoing Reinvention. Any and all questions are invited, and anyone who knows an answer to any question posted is encouraged to answer it in the threads below.

Last week’s post drew two new questions:

~Who is the “union leadership” with whom the Professional and Staff Development Task Force is working?

~Can’t the approval and reimbursement process for faculty professional development funds be streamlined (and is there a task force working on this one)?

I will get answers for both and post them this weekend, along with a summary of our visit from the Reinvention team that took place last week. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for  a short survey that should be landing in your mailbox sometime this afternoon that is meant to draw out some preliminary information for our meeting with the PD task force next Tuesday (@3:30pm, rm 102).

ReinQuestion–Vol. 6

ReinQuestion? appears every Thursday and is an open thread for members of the HW and CCC community to post questions about the ongoing Reinvention. Any and all questions are invited, and anyone who knows an answer to any question posted is encouraged to answer it in the threads below.

I have to start this one with an apology. I really, really, really hoped to have a summary of our fruitful, educational, and helpful discussion with the task force members that took place on Tuesday at our local Faculty Council meeting, and then solicit more questions.

Unfortunately, I brought home the wrong legal pad, and so I am without my notes on the meeting. Thus, I can’t do what I wanted to do.

I swear that it will happen, and I promise that it will happen soon.

In the meantime, please mark your calendars for February 22nd (3:30pm, room 102) when your local Faculty Council will host Franklin Reynolds (Speech) and Alicia Anzaldo (Biology) to discuss their work on the Faculty and Staff Development Task Force and get input about FACULTY development–what it is, what it should be, and what it isn’t, in particular. In an email, Franklin described their work as follows:


*Improving the tenure process to make it more meaningful for one’s professional development needs,  more useful to improving one’s classroom teaching, and more transparent in its evaluation process.

*Improving the faculty development (broadly, not just our contractual week’s requirement) opportunities for faculty. This includes making faculty development programming more faculty-driven across the District.

*Improving the post tenure experience by ensuring good teaching is rewarded and faculty who have had difficulties communicated to them have the proper tools necessary to succeed.

Please note, we are working with the collective bargaining agreement in mind, as well as consultation with union leadership. Alicia and I are also meeting with as many faculty on all the campuses. Through the likes of focus groups, surveys, meetings with District Faculty Council leadership, and other avenues, we hope to bring meaningful change to faculty development at CCC.

Pose your questions and/or ideas here, and watch for a survey and additional opportunities to contribute your comments, ideas, and definitions.

And if you have any lingering Reinvention Questions, post them up here!

New Release of Professional Development Policy Research

A team of researchers from Stanford and the National Staff Development Council released their Phase III report of their multi-year research project into the policies and practices that make for effective educational professional development.

All three reports are available at Learning Forward’s Web site (click HERE), along with a description of the project’s aims, scope and findings.

The reports are described like this:

Phase I: In 2009, NSDC released Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad. This report examines what research has revealed about professional learning that improves teachers’ practice and student learning. The report describes the availability of such opportunities in the United States and high-achieving nations around the world, which have been making substantial and sustained investments in professional learning for teachers over the last two decades. Funding for the multiyear research effort comes from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MetLife Foundation, NSDC, and The Wallace Foundation.

Phase II: The report from Phase II of this multiyear research initiative examines the status of professional learning in the United States. The findings indicate that the nation is making some progress in providing increased support and mentoring for new teachers. However, the study also reveals that teachers’ opportunities for the kind of ongoing, intensive professional learning that research shows has a substantial impact on student learning are decreasing.

Researchers examined 2008 data from the federal government’s Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) and other sources. The report also includes assessments of each state on the quality of their professional development across 11 indicators that comprise a newly developed Professional Development Access Index.

Phase III: Policy shapes practices, and the increasingly important realm of professional development is no exception. To identify effective professional development policies and strategies, the Stanford University research team examined the policy frameworks supporting high levels of professional development activity in four states in Phase III of the multiyear research study.

The states—Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, and Vermont—were identified as “professionally active” based on evidence of high levels of teacher participation in professional development in the 2008 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, and the teacher surveys associated with the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); a reputation in the literature for enacting reforms that are consistent with the research based on “effective” professional development; and improvements in student achievement as measured in the 2009 NAEP.

Your local Faculty Council has been contacted by a couple of members of the Staff and Professional Development Task Force (they want to get some information from HW faculty), and we’re working out the details of what will happen and how. In the meantime, it might be valuable to take a gander at these reports (at least the first one, which gives an overview of research on PD) to fertilize your own thinking on the subject.