The summer is coming to a close, which means I am another semester closer to the end of the DEL program. For our big project this semester, we were tasked to create a workshop/presentation for a conference. After doing some research on PGPs (Professional Growth Plan), one of my cohort members found a grant that she really wanted to apply to. It was a big undertaking, and since we teach at the same school she asked me if I would partner up with her. What a journey this has been!
To give some background, the grant we applied to is through PESB. In this grant, applicants are asking for up to $15,000.00 to run workshops and trainings to educators to help them complete PGPs in the areas of SEL or digital education. As our district is in the process of adopting more SEL based practices, we decided to pick that for our focus. We will be remote teaching for at least the beginning of the school year, so we knew we would also embed some digital learning practices into our workshops.
The grant required us to complete a detailed questionnaire, along with a budget for how we plan to spend the money and a MOA between PESB and our school district. The grant requires that we plan for at least 3 synchronous meetings and attend a kick off in October and a closing meeting in May. Participants in our workshops will complete their own PGP and will be compensated monetarily for their work. We were encouraged to invite both teachers and paraeducators. With all of these requirements in mind, we created our plans for what we would do if we are awarded the grant.
Our Plans (Simplified)
We started by looking at the components of a PGP and breaking it into manageable chunks. We found it to work well with 5 chunks. From this, we decided we would have 5 meetings. The structure of each meeting would run the same way, but the content would be different. Each workshop will have an SEL focus and relationship building activities embedded into it. The last 30 minutes of each workshop is reserved for members to share and provide feedback to each other. Participant voice would drive our focus, so we created a survey to go out at the end of every meet to find out where to change. We also planned for the facilitators (Sarah and I) and the grant facilitator (another educator at our site) to have regularly scheduled office hours so that we can support participants individually or in small groups as needed. You can find more detail of our plans in the documents provided.
This grant would be for the 2020-2021 school year. The entirety of all that it entails would run from September 30-May 15. We have 5 planned synchronous meetings running 1.5 hour per meeting. We also have planned weekly office hours. Each facilitator and grant coordinator would be available for about an hour per week, making 3 total hours available for participants to receive support as needed.
We chose the length of time for the meetings so that there was enough time for relationship activities, new information, and processing time. We want what we do with participants to be useful in their practice, so the strategies we use will be ones they can take back and use with their students.
Active and Engaged Learning
We will promote active and engaged learning by providing a warm demander environment. We will have high expectations of our participants, with a focus on building relationships with them. There isn’t a quick or easy way out for a PGP, but we can make it easier for them with support. They are encouraged to work together and provide each other feedback. The whole process has been chunked and scaffolded out so that participants do not need to look at the whole plan at a time. Their goals should be directed toward practices we already have to implement anyway, so this provides them a way to get support and resources they can use.
Content Knowledge Needs
Before we start our first work with the PGPs we will be giving our participants a survey (it’s still in the works). From this survey, we will find out the levels of knowledge within our group. We are anticipating some staff will be ready to implement SEL initiatives with little to no support from us while other staff could be overwhelmed with the initiatives and need more information on in district initiatives. Our plan is to split our group at times so that we can go deeper with those who are ready and can build foundation with those who require more support.
To finalize their goal, teachers will take a needs assessment. This is the first step that they will take before writing their goal for their PGP. From this they can pick an area where they have a higher need for support. By having an assessment first before writing a goal we will be able to support the educators where their personal needs lie and create support that is individualized.
Every single live meeting has protected collaboration time. We want to promote that collaboration can make their work easier and provide more support. This is not something that anyone is expected to do alone. Participants will be asked to provide feedback on each other’s work throughout the meetings, which we hope will build more relationships between staff at the school. The facilitators and grant coordinator will model collaboration as well as this is not an undertaking that one person would want to complete on their own.
Links to Materials:
Meetings Presentation: CLICK HERE
Post Meeting Survey: CLICK HERE
Grant Questions and Budget: CLICK HERE
Meeting Agendas: CLICK HERE
*All of my documents are live. They are in different stages of life, some are more complete and others are still getting worked on.