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Teaching Teachers: PD to Improve Student Achievement

Canadian International School of Guangzhou 2021-03-12 16:15:52

Education is a lifelong cycle and in today’s world, constant change can be a challenge for any educator. To keep up with new teaching techniques and methodology based on emerging research, as well as strategies for implementation, CIS ensures that our teachers are given mutiple opportunities to enhance their teaching methods. 

In the world of education, this is called Professional Development (PD), and its aim to simple: The more teachers learn, the more students improve and achieve. 

Why is CIS Committed to PD? What is the Purpose of PD?

PD is an important way of learning to earn or maintain professional credentials that benefits both educators and educatees. As Alberta (Canada) Education Department accredited K-12 teachers, CIS designed the PD Day to ensure their teaching practices continue to be in line with necessary government qualifications. The purpose of setting aside a day for PD is to give teachers an opportunity to interact with each other to learn best practices and hone their techniques in a mutually respectful space.

“The most effective Professional Development engages teams of teachers to focus on the needs of their students.”

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

On PD Day, CIS teachers sat together to review their teaching processes, analyze what worked well and what came out as concerns. In the words of ECE Division Head Ms. Maria Fawcett, it was also a perfect opportunity to all teachers at CIS to work as a team to set realistic learning goals based on the analysis, and to plan authentic learning activities which support students’ developmental abilities, interests and needs. After all, teamwork makes the dream work!

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Differentiating Teaching Styles to Keep Classrooms More Targeted

As Grade 2 teacher Ms. Morgana Larsen explained, differentiated teaching means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Every student has their own learning style which forms from their different readiness, interests and learning profiles. Whether teachers differentiate content, process, products or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction.

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To Understand and Know Students, One Must Be a Student First

One of the most critical ways of knowing and understanding students better is for teachers to experience classrooms as learners. CIS provide that opportunity to our teachers on this very day. Doors were opened for teaching faculty from all subjects and divisions to go through a students’ routine. Engaging in a learning process from a different angle further enhances the relationship between students and educators, and allows teachers to see learning from a different perspective. PD day ended with a chance for all teachers to experience holistic learning, with an art project that involved them learning how to make a self-portrait. 

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Rejuvenated after a truly beneficial PD Day, CIS teachers are looking forward to continuing to inspire students with their expertise and professionalism. 

Strike A Work-life Balance

The purpose of team-building activities is to build a stronger unit of staff. It improves productivity, increases teaching motivation, encorages collaboration and builds trust. Aside from the  learning, the PD Day was wrapped up with some quality time enjoyed a riveting game of laser tag!

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