We sat down yesterday, the three of us, and walked through the PGP google template I created to help us stay up on and show evidence of our PGP goal and overall practice in our domains/elements.
Our state is actively engaged in ‘Race to the Top’ so our county has worked to create a teacher evaluation system that is linked to student achievement data (FCAT 2.0) and other elements of observation and self developed goals and strategies.
I’m not completely keen on ‘Racing to the Top’. Although I think competition has a place…I’m not sure we are using it well in education. I heard in my county the term ‘Brevard’ed’ when something is taken and our staff changes it to make it fit our unique organization. That I feel is strong practice. However, in one in-service, it was mentioned that other counties wanted to access our BEST training and guidance because they felt we had a good program….but that our county was still reviewing how best to share it with others because they couldn’t see how BEST would work, let’s say in Volusia “VEST”. I found it interesting that was even a worry….so was it more about money?
Honestly, it’s not our county’s fault. The current state of education, the lack of budgets…difficultly staying abreast of meeting student needs within allocated resources is a challenge! I can see the desire and need to create a fee system for sharing.
But that is where our education system is faltering. Best practice and good research in education needs to be fund through grants and be provided for free. I think strapping counties down by having to pay for these resources reduces collaboration and efficient use of time. People reinvent the wheel because good ideas are out there under wraps! And…I think rather than being the best country, we are still stuck in the best state, best county, best school, best classroom, best teacher. Rather than helping all of us grow and become stronger, there is a sense here that sharing too much practice may result in having to share bonus’ and such. Which is EXACTLY how Race to the Top works and how our teacher evaluation system will end up with the top teachers dividing up monies…if there is any.
As part of the PGP process, the BFT (our local teachers union) ask for people to tutor other teachers and receive PAY! Tutor pay! to help! I offered to help but would not accept payment. We should be helping each other the best way we can. We should be supporting each other to all be strong so each student receives the BEST education…not just those with the ‘best’ teachers.
Although….I did find it difficult to find the time with all I have on my plate. Still…I found time to share and help where I could. And one elementary school…Sabel…published an incredibly helpful worksheet to think through and write our PGP. Another teacher at our school is leading a PGP on Kagan and I open my classroom to collaborate.
So today I sat down with 2 other teachers and helped them create their own on-line Google PGP portfolio. Here is mine PGP Portfolio. Together we will now move forward to help support each other remembering to reflect and collect evidence of our practice weekly – as well as discuss our understanding of what the rubric guidance shows as Highly Distinguished or Proficient practice. If you were to ask me the one exciting outcome of this PGP process is the collegiality I see developing. A move away from BEST me and, hopefully, more BEST US! I hope so. I truly miss collaborating with my peers in England.
As I work through this myself, I will share more…