|May 2014 PIIC PLO Considered "Invaluable" by Participants|
From May 5-7, 2014, PIIC hosted the final Professional Learning Opportunity (PLO) of the school year at The Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. Over 140 instructional coaches, administrators, mentors, and Regional Mentor Coordinators (RMC) from 20 PIIC-participating IUs attended the PLO.
On May 5, Ellen Eisenberg, PIIC’s Executive Director, welcomed the group. Participants worked in randomly-assigned groups to discuss various themes related to their work and professional roles.
After the short table conversations, participants rotated into breakout sessions. Participants chose one of the following breakout session prior to the PLO via an online registration form:
Chris Caton, Moon Area SD Director of Curriculum, led a whole-group general session entitled Coaching Around the Voluntary Instructional Frameworks: Leveraging the Tools on the SAS Portal. The day concluded with strategic planning and reflection time for coaches to identify and plan ways to use what they learned from the general session in their schools.
May 6 began with a short welcome and agenda review. Participants moved directly into their pre-selected breakout sessions:
After the breakout sessions, Elliott Medrich, PIIC Senior Advisor,interviewed Karen Macartney, an instructional coach from Bradford Area SD. Karen shared her experiences as an instructional coach and talked about how she garnered trust from her peers as a non-administrative layer of support. The interview fed into the next whole-group general session, Building Focus and Feedback Through Formative Assessment: A Coach’s Role, facilitated by Joe Ginotti.
Coaches then gathered for a short strategic reflection and lunch break. The group reconvened and gathered in small groups to discuss challenges they experienced as coaches. Groups were given reflective questions and engaged in conversations with their colleagues. Responses were later shared with the whole group.
On the morning of May 7, Elliott Medrich facilitated another interview. This time, Joanne Custer, Dauphin County Technical School Instructional Coach, shared the process by which she developed from a novice coach in her school to an experienced coach among her colleagues. Participants then moved into one of the following pre-selected breakout sessions:
Breakout sessions were followed with a Birds of a Feather session, an activity where participants develop topics of interest throughout the PLO in order to continue their conversations with colleagues.
Feedback from the PLO was positive:
I came away with my head just bursting with next step ideas in my work within my district. I just found it invaluable to have the time in both large and small group sessions, to learn and chat with one another.
For me, the PIIC PLOs help me to re-direct myself. I am involved in so many initiatives in our district that often "instructional coaching" is not at the forefront where it should be. It is invaluable to be with instructional coaches from around the state to share ideas, strategies, successes, and even failures and to know that I am a part of the big picture of helping teachers to be the best they can be.
The set up was amazing. The fact that there was whole group and small group mixed throughout the day gave the participants a way to break up the day!
You can read more feedback from this event by accessing the Testimonials page. The agenda from this event is available on our Past Professional Learning Opportunities page. You can also find photos from this event in our PIIC Photo Gallery. Our next PIIC Professional Learning Opportunity will be September 29-October 1, 2014 at The Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. Details can be found on our Events page.Click here to return to the PIIC News Page