Building Capacity for Organizational Change
In keeping with the mission, beliefs, objectives, parameters and strategies of the Clear Creek Independent School District, the Professional Learning Plan in CCISD is the basis for designing and implementing a systematic approach to professional learning that builds the individual and collective capacity of each CCISD team member to support each student in actualizing his or her personal talents and interests.
In CCISD, professional learning is defined as a continuous improvement process designed to increase student success by fostering the individual and collective capacity of each CCISD team member. In CCISD:
- We believe that professional learning should be designed for a clear and compelling purpose that aligns with the CCISD Strategic Plan and is evaluated based on changes in practice that enhance the educational experiences of each student.
- We believe that professional learning should be personalized to build the capacity of each team member to support each student in optimizing his or her potential.
- We believe that each team member thrives when he or she is able to collaborate with colleagues to improve practice as part of a professional learning community.
- We believe that professional learning should be data-driven, job-embedded, ongoing, and relevant to each team member’s role and needs.
- We believe that professional learning is most effective when it honors adult learning theory, incorporates choice, and models engaging and relevant learning strategies.
- We believe that all team members deserve access to job-embedded coaching, mentoring, and peer support throughout the cycle of learning.
- We believe that each team member has an individual responsibility to ensure personal growth toward individual and organizational goals.
Job-Embedded Professional Learning
In CCISD, we emphasize Job-Embedded Professional Learning (JEPL), which is the collaborative study of practical elements related to the daily work of each team member. JEPL takes place in the job setting during the workday to identify problems of practice and collectively analyze solutions to improve student learning (Learning Forward, 2011). The conditions under which it takes place make it timely, relevant, practical, and personalized. JEPL facilitates feedback and reflection, which fosters the long-term adoption and transfer of new skills and beliefs, resulting in continuous improvement of the educational process. Examples of JEPL include professional learning communities, instructional coaching, mentoring, and collaborative assessment development.
Instructional Coaches are content facilitators who support professional learning by providing assistance with various forms of JEPL, as well as working directly with teachers in their schools and classrooms to assist with the application of new knowledge and skills necessary to improve the academic performance of all students (Killion & Harrison, 2006). Coaches work with team members to achieve individual, campus, and district goals by building capacity in team members through discussion, modeling, observation, and reflection.
Professional Learning Support for Teachers New to CCISD
All teachers new to CCISD are assigned a mentor and will complete a District-sponsored one-year induction program. Scheduled induction activities are conducted for teachers new to CCISD and include New Teacher Orientation, which is generally held one week prior to teacher in-service in the fall. Ongoing professional learning (e.g., #LearningCamp) is also designed to meet the unique needs of teachers who are new to CCISD.
CCISD Context for Professional Learning Design
Professional learning in CCISD is designed in accordance with the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning, based upon a theoretical framework for adult learning, and emphasizes the importance of job-embedded professional learning structures.