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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

A Commitment to Professional Learning

LMSD is a community that values educators and the critical role they play in ensuring our students' success. We trust our professionals and seek to support their perpetual growth and development through collaborative professional learning opportunities rooted in self-reflection and inquiry. We believe in providing resources to staff that encourage a culture of engagement, innovation, and exploration.

What is the big idea?

We will transform our approach to professional learning from a top-down model to one that honors and harnesses our educators' collective wisdom. We will provide venues across disciplines and buildings for professionals to collaborate, explore, and innovate in order to sustain their continual growth and support the intended outcomes of this plan.

Why do we need to do this?

The power and beauty of teaching is rooted in the relationship between student and teacher. The best teachers learn with and from their students. They constantly adjust and adapt their practice to foster deeper connections and understanding. They remain connected to and cognizant of the community and the greater world. As we prepare the next generation for success, we must create a system and an environment that ensures the growth and development of our teachers. This requires time and resources, communication and collaboration, and a culture that values personal reflection, individuality, and innovation. Above all, it requires trust. The future is not cookie-cutter classrooms; it's laboratories of learning, guided by professionals empowered to model the qualities and skills we want to see in our students.

How will we do this?

  • Develop a coordinated professional learning plan that includes more collaboration (e.g. to reflect, to inquire, to research, to implement, to evaluate, to determine implications for future practice) and is more educator-directed
  • Embed professional learning opportunities during the school day
  • Build the capacity of educator-leaders
  • Revise the professional learning calendar and its scheduling
  • Provide opportunities for educators and parents and guardians to learn together to ensure positive outcomes for each student

How will we measure progress?

  • A professional learning calendar that makes more effective collaboration possible
  • Professional learning opportunities provided
  • Professional Learning Community (PLC) rubrics
  • Protocols for embedded professional learning and peer review
  • Teacher satisfaction surveys (and self-reflections if shared)
  • Opportunities provided for educators and parents and guardians to learn together

Who will be responsible?

Superintendent and Superintendent's designees

How will we know we have moved the District forward?

  • Strong professional growth results
  • High educator engagement and trust
  • High student achievement and well-being data

Updates

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Reflections

"My professional learning has become more embedded into the school day through team teaching. Even though I’m teaching, I’m also observing, providing and receiving feedback."

-Special Education Teacher, Elementary School

"Through the collaborative efforts of our PLC, we’re constantly sharing new ideas, creating them and testing their effectiveness."

-Science Teacher, Middle School

"Our administration has strongly encouraged us to explore connections between disciplines. FedEx Days have helped me engage in creative planning for student learning that I probably wouldn’t have taken advantage of if I wasn’t given the time."

-School Psychologist, High School

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