Seeing Teachers as Learners
Elementary school principal Lyn Hilt praises Learning Forward's newly revised Standards for Professional Learning. In particular, she thinks the emphasis on "professional learning" (as opposed to the customary "professional development") could be transformative:
Teachers are not to be treated as vehicles through which schools deliver programs and policies. This, in my opinion, has been the focus of traditional professional development frameworks for way too long. ... Teachers, like students, are first and foremost individuals who have passions, interests, and an inherent desire to learn. The goal for administrators should then become how to foster the learning spirit in each and every one of our teachers through a system of learning opportunities that cater to their individual needs. This, in turn, will ignite a true excitement for learning in our teachers, which will transfer into their practice. The result? Students who spend their days with teachers who exhibit a true desire to grow professionally and who model that learning matters.
If you're interested in getting more info, Stephanie Hirsh, Learning Forward's executive director, recently answered frequently-asked-questions about the new standards on LF's blog on Teacher.