Staff Professional Learning
There is clear evidence that purposeful professional learning for teachers is a key factor in improving student learning outcomes. The research asserts that, ‘in order to be effective, teachers need a deep understanding of their subject area, knowledge of how students learn specific subject matter and a range of strategies and practices that support student learning.’ The research also affirms ‘that engaging teachers in high quality professional learning is the most successful way to improve teacher effectiveness and hence improve student outcomes.’(Greenwald, Hedges & Laine 1995; Guskey & Huberman 1995; Elmore & Burney 1997; Hawley & Valli 1999; Elmore 2002).
Waverley College is committed to providing ongoing professional learning for our staff to ensure they are kept up-to-date with the latest pedagogical research, high impact teaching strategies and ideas to improve staff and student wellbeing. Professional Learning on our Day 1 Staff Day included a session on Staff Wellbeing, a demonstration of the Rock and Water program, and the launch of our new Teaching and Learning Framework.
The day started with a Staff Wellbeing session on Work Life Balance, Health and Happiness was facilitated by Mark Bunn. Mark, a former AFL player with an Honours Degree in Western health science and formal training in Eastern medicine (Maharishi Ayurveda), provided strategies to create happier, healthier and stress-free lives through the collective wisdom of East meets West. https://markbunn.com.au.
It was exciting to launch the new Teaching and Learning Framework that teachers and school leaders have been developing over the last 18 months.
Staff explored the framework elements of self efficacy, school climate and the Principles of Visible Learning. They were given opportunities to participate in high impact teaching strategies and shown how to effectively implement them in the classroom to maximise student learning. Thank you to Ms Gabby Smith, Mr Jean Paul Boumelhem, Ms Jenny Hoare, Mr Jack Wachtel and Mr Ben Meadley who facilitated this informative session.
The day concluded with the Rock and Water program, which is a student Wellbeing program designed to decrease bullying and depressive feelings, and increase self-esteem, self-regulation and social acceptance. Staff had an opportunity to explore some activities and strategies that help build student self-confidence and enhance social and communication skills. These activities will be embedded within the PDHPE Stage 3 and 4 programs and students will also be exploring this program during Camp experiences. Thank you to Mr Scott Coleman, Mr John McCoy and Ms Belinda Buchan who facilitated this great session.
In addition to this professional Learning, all new staff were trained in the Mental Health First Aid Program earlier in the year. A program designed for adults working with adolescents to improve knowledge, reduce stigmatising attitudes and increase first aid towards people with mental health problems. Throughout the 14 hour program, staff looked at a range of topics including common youth mental disorders, depression and anxiety in young people, eating disorders, substance misuse, intoxication, suicide and aggression. Staff learnt about first aid action plans to assist students in these situations. Thank you to our facilitator and College Psychologist, Ms Tessa Prior for her ongoing commitment to this important program. To date, Tessa has trained 60% of our staff and will continue this training for remaining staff over the course of the year. I look forward to regularly communicating the Professional Learning of our staff as well as the ongoing developments and achievements in our key strategic priority areas.
Please click on the following link to view the Teaching and Learning Framework.