New Hampshire WP Refocuses PD and Forms TC-Driven Partnership

Dec 6, 2015
Posted by: nicoletteamann

After rethinking their model for professional development, New Hampshire WP forms a team of TCs  to provide more standarized professional development to district schools. 

This year, we have refined our conceptual model for providing professional development.  Our previous model gave equal weight to reflection, practice, knowledge and experience.  These were the elements that we felt were most important in a professional development program and we evaluated all of our programs to be sure that they were including all of these elements in more or less equal proportions.  We have since refined our model to place practice at the center. We have come to see practice as being the goal and the center around which experience, knowledge and reflection are directed.  All of the experience, knowledge and reflection that comprise our programs should be related back to practice.  We have also moved to looking at all of our programming through the lens of reciprocity.  How are the writing project and its partners working in ways that are mutually beneficial?

Our partnership with Gilford School District is an example.  Through the work of a teacher consultant who is a high school literacy coach, five additional teachers representing a range of subject areas have attended the summer institute.  With the addition of two teacher consultants at the elementary school and two at the middle school, we were able to form a leadership team to provide professional development for teachers in the district as well as for teachers in an adjoining district that feeds into the high school.   We conducted a needs assessment by means of a survey, and decided on three strands for our work the first year:  reluctant writers, STEM writing, and Assessment of Writing.  The teacher consultants met and designed a presentation to introduce the work, which they presented at all four schools (elementary, middle, high and the K-8 school in the other district).  They clearly presented the writing project philosophy and introduced the various strands of staff development we would be providing.   They demonstrated a typical protocol for discussing a reading.  Teachers across the district signed up for the various strands and we created a system of how to follow a consistent pattern while varying content. Every month, the facilitators met to share experiences, challenges and triumphs.  Part of this meeting was also dedicated to planning. At the end of the year, we met for a debrief and decided on how we would vary the content and format for the following year. This resulted in a new rollout plan for 2015 which offered teachers a choice of three after-school sessions or one longer Saturday session in each of three blocks throughout the school year. We are excited about this partnership, which is TC-driven and which allows the project to expand its repertoire of professional development delivery models.