At our school we are really trying to amplify the role of the new IB Standards and Practices across our whole school community – with leadership, with parents, with the Board of Directors and with faculty. We are trying to have the S&Ps be our lighthouse, our beacon, our goal post to create a shared direction and have that beautiful ‘sunflower effect’ where everyone in an organization is pulling in the same direction.
So one of the actions we have taken to try and work toward this vision, is to use the new IB Standards and Practices as the reference point for goal setting.
This year especially, we know that everyone is stretched so thin and working harder then they have ever likely worked before! So we wanted something simple and straightforward, but still impactful in helping our faculty along their ongoing journey as PYP practitioners.
Here is what we did and how it went:
First we explained the why, how and what to our faculty
Then we explained each of the three parts: self-assessment, reflection, and goal setting
For the self-assessment part, we used the proficiency indicators we use to measure student learning and applied them to ourselves as learners
We pulled as many Standards & Practices as we could that are relevant to the role of a faculty member at an IB school
We used a simple framework to synthesize trends from their self-assessment
We used a simple framework to commit to one goal, advocate for the support they desire as a learner and articulate what success will look like for them
And, as always, we emphasized that we are looking for progress, never perfection!
And the result was some beautifully honest, vulnerable and genuine reflections…
Which led to personalized goals that link their own individual improvement as a PYP practioner with our school’s collective improvement as an IB school.
From there, I was able to collate all their individual self-assessment data to see trends across the school. This was helpful in my role as PYP Coordinator because it not only allowed me a deeper understanding of where each individual PYP educators thinks they are in their journey; but I could also see commonalities in strengths and areas for growth within teams, subject areas, and across the whole staff. This provides me with great guidance in terms of how to individually support each faculty member with their goal, but also the bigger projects and initiatives I can work on with the whole staff in specific areas.
I was also able to collate goal areas and types of support, which again, not only allowed me to get a good handle on what each individual faculty member is striving towards and what they need from me, but also where there are common goal areas to help those individuals connect with one another over the course of the year to learn together and support one another in their shared purpose.
*Note – This is hot off the press! We just started it two days ago… so there is still some data rolling in!
So what are my next steps?
- share this data with my partner – the PYP Principal – so we can have a shared understanding of where our staff is and how best we can help them grow
- begin to reach out to individuals for calibration conversations, offers of support, and follow-up probing questions
- look for individuals who have common goals and work on helping them make connections with one another
We are just at the early stages of this journey, but it feels like we are off to a good start! As always, I welcome your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, ideas and stories from your own practice and experience with using the IB Standards and Practices as the common reference point for professional growth and development.