Modeling Commitment to Professional Learning
A leader engages in career-long professional learning and ongoing critical reflection to identify opportunities for improving leadership, teaching, and learning.
I believe it is important for teachers and administrators to be life long learners. The challenge of mastering new skills reminds us of how hard our students work everyday. It allows us to connect with our students on a different level when we share our learning and growth.
In the 2018-2019 school year I had 2 areas of focus for my professional development plan. I took a course at Red Deer College learning American Sign Language as a second language. This is an area of personal interest but also serves some of our inclusion students. My other focus was looking at supporting staff; being aware of their personal needs and struggles and offering appropriate help. Reading Dare To Lead with my administration PLT group has exposed me to some extraordinary conversations and perspectives. I feel this has positively impacted my people skills.
In the 2017-2018 school year I focused my professional development plan on learning more about our First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities as well as learning more about the needs of LGBTQ2S+ students and families.
A Knock at the Door and Seven Fallen Feathers were books recommended to me by our Walking Together representative, Crystal Clark. Reading A Knock at the Door was an eyeopening overview of the history of residential schools in Canada. It was so packed with information that I will need to reread it again next year as I know there is information that I didn't absorb on the first reading. Seven Fallen Feathers is a heartbreaking account of seven teenaged students that died from 2000-2011 while in Thunder Bay to attend high school. Away from their families and support systems, the children tried to navigate city life and high school. The book focuses on seven students in Thunder Bay but it opened my eyes further to the systemic problem we have across Canada.
I attended the 6th Annual GSA Conference in Calgary with one of the parents of a student from our school. I was interested in learning more about what I can do as a teacher and administrator to support gender diverse students. I hope to attend again next year as there were many session I would have enjoyed going to. The conference had over 30 sessions to attend and each participant could attend a maximum of three.