Every year, our staff not only attend professional development both in Adelaide and across Australia to improve and challenge their thinking around best teaching practices, but are also asked to facilitate professional learning in their area of expertise. In fact, just recently Carlee Mitchell presented at the ACHPER SA HPD Leadership Seminar.
Over the last four years, 18 staff from across our campuses have worked towards their Masters of Education through Flinders University who tailored a Masters of Education course especially for the needs of our staff, looking at 21st Century Learning Design, Effective use of ICT for Teaching and Learning, Assessment, Motivation, Cognition and Metacognition in Learning, and Approaches to Research, to name a few. This was an amazing opportunity for staff to critically look at the way we do things and work collaboratively through research and practical application to gain insight into best practice as well as helping us find a passion and cultivate our individual strengths in order to support our students to soar higher. As a result, 27 teaching staff on the Secondary Campus at St John’s Grammar now either have their Masters or are working towards it.
When you look at our School Mission to ‘soar higher’, as teachers we are showing our students that we are not only trying to encourage them to soar higher, but as part of the community we are also aiming to soar higher.
I am passionate about life-long learning for students and for teachers, I think that it is important for staff to work together, sharing ideas and inspiring each other to be the best they can be. In my new role of Leader of Professional Learning and Development I am looking at best teaching practice in the classroom, through reflecting on our own teaching, creating high professionalism and developing the use of Canvas to create even better results and learning outcomes for our students. My first step towards creating opportunities for this to happen is through Coaching. Each teacher on the Secondary Campus will have a one-on-one coaching session with me to develop these ideas, set goals and challenge themselves to find their way to best contribute to achieving the School Mission. More and more coaching is being recognised as a key ingredient to improvement in schools and companies. It is an important way to build teaching and learning capacity, develop leadership capability and ultimately, to improve student learning outcomes and wellbeing. I am impressed with the way our staff think and plan new ideas for our students, and I look forward meeting with each staff member and uncovering and developing their goals for 2018.
Leader of Professional Learning and Development