Setting Up a Professional Learning Community for PE
I would like to throw out a proposal to any PE teachers wanting to get involved in a professional development opportunity. This is only an idea at this point, so I would like input and feedback from anyone willing to contribute their thoughts. As I reflect on authentic and genuine opportunities for professional development in physical education, it becomes clear to me that opportunities are quite limited at times. Sure, we all go on professional development from time to time and this no doubt is very useful for us. However, I still feel that PD is quite limited within our specialist area. Twitter, of course, has changed how we learn and interact with other PE practitioners around the world and for this I am very grateful. The weekly #pechats have been a very informative way to exchange ideas.
What I would like to propose is the idea of goal-setting and creating ‘learning groups’ within our PE network. The way I foresee this happening is; those that are interested in being involved, would share their specific ‘learning goals’ via a collaborative Google Doc. Once we identify themes in the ‘learning goals’ teachers have, we can then form ‘like’ groups in to ‘Learning Teams’. Some general themes which may serve as a great starting point could be leadership, innovation, community, curriculum etc. Establishing themes would be an important part of the process. The learning teams might look something like this (this is only an example)
Creating Learning Teams
Initial Learning Team Discussion
This is the time that the group comes together for the first time on Google Hangout to share their questions, their uncertainties, and what they already know about their selected topic or focus. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, the group identifies exactly what the main goal of their learning discussion group is. Side related goals are of course allowed and encouraged. Perhaps these learning group discussions can be streamed on You Tube for other teachers to be able to watch. I essentially see this as an extended version of #pechat where we can go more in-depth with our learning and discussion. Although very much informal in nature, these discussion groups still need a structure in order the properly thrive.
Sharing Research and Information
Each time learning team meets on Google Hangout they share their information and research with one another. They share what is working in terms of their learning goal and what isn't. Groups can brainstorm new ideas for its teacher members to implement within their own instructional practice.
How Often Would Learning Teams Meet?
This would be up to each learning group to decide for themselves. The way I see it is that learning teams would meet on average of once or twice a month. If each group was to have their Google Hangout streamed on You Tube, there would be an amazing wealth of knowledge being exchanged that would benefit each and every one of us involved in this project.
Are you interested in being a part of this professional learning community?
I sincerely hope that you are! If so, please leave your name in the comment box below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I believe that our PE network will be made stronger by banding together to share our wisdom, knowledge, and learning in a professional learning community approach such as this. What are your thoughts?
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.