Arguably the ultimate goal of teacher professional learning is improved classroom practice as maintained here in Peter Cole’s AITSL publication Linking effective professional learning with effective teaching practice. Yet, how often do the fruits of our professional learning filter across to be of benefit to the teaching practices of the rest of the staff? Box 1 from this publication shows that transference of effective teaching practice dwindles markedly at each stage of its implementation from the point of being introduced by one or several of the teachers through to the adoption of the practice by others .
Earlier this year I was privileged to be included in the Teaching English Language Learners across the curriculum (TELL) Course at Fairfield Public School. Our facilitator was the very knowledgable Kim Cootes (@KimCootes) The learning included; knowledge of the nature of language, knowledge of second language development, appropriate pedagogies within a high challenge and high support classroom and how to view learning from a sociocultural perspective. Much of it is based on the work of Pauline Gibbons, Scaffolding Language Scaffolding Learning Heinemann, 2015.
The learning was useful, practical and applicable and has added to my teaching toolkit for EAL/D students. I have been able to share tiny gems at TeachMeets and on Teacher Professional Learning days. But, what good is this for these teachers’ practice unless they participate in the entire 6 modules and gain a deep understanding? What good is this for our student outcomes unless this effective teaching practice is embedded as a whole school teaching approach.
Today I participated in Day 1 of the TELL Facilitator Training. It was enjoyable, it helped to reinforce my prior learning, Pauline Gibbons herself was there to outline the Principles and Practice of the TELL Course and trained facilitators offered their tips and tricks from their experiences in the role.
Why take part in yet another course? Hopefully I will be equipped to assist our other trained TELL facilitator at school, Melanie Rios, (@melmollyrios) to transfer the learning from this effective teaching practice to the rest of our staff in order to make this best practice of teaching English Language Learners common practice in our school community.