6 ways to get the most out of a new PLD journey

1. Get Curious

When you embark upon any new learning, you get to decide what kind of attitude you’ll bring to it. There's a big difference between thinking:

“Here we go again, another whizz-bang program that’ll be tossed out again in a few years”
- and -
“I’m interested in seeing how this learning might help me to boost engagement in literacy”

Coaching questions to help you decide your vibe:

  • What would you love to get out of this PLD?
  • What attitude will you choose to bring to this PLD?

2. Know what's in the box before you think outside of it

PLD programs are put together by facilitators who are passionate about what they do and have researched, trialed and refined the mahi that they share with you. Keep an open mind towards ideas, resources and practices that are shared, and if you want further background information go ahead and ask for it. 

Coaching questions to help you interpret new learning:
  • If this works incredibly well in our school, what’s in it for me, our ākonga and my colleagues?
  • How do these new ideas confirm or challenge my current understanding?

3. You can do ANYTHING but you can’t do EVERYTHING

Once you’ve got the foundational knowledge you need to get started, it’s time to trial some new approaches to your teaching. This doesn’t mean that you throw everything you know out the window and replace it with a new idea that you’ve only just been introduced to. You pick and choose the parts that make the most sense to you in your context, or the parts that you’re most excited about and start there. You only have so many minutes in the day, you have to be selective about how you spend them.

Coaching questions to stop you throwing the baby out with the bath water:
  • How can I explore these new ideas in a manageable way?
  • What are the key indicators that will tell me if this intervention is working or not?

4. Think about how you like to learn

We’re not working in a sausage factory here so it’s unrealistic to expect that what everyone does, and the way they do it will be exactly the same. 

If you like to engage with lots of background reading before trying new things - make time for it. 
If you like browsing through podcasts, YouTube clips and forums while you’re in the bath - do it. 
If you like to immerse yourself in your own inquiry process as soon as something is introduced - get stuck in.

Coaching questions to take responsibility and tailor PLD to meet your needs as a learner:

  • What can I do to get the most out of this learning opportunity?
  • How can I approach this in a way that makes the most of my learning preferences and strengths?

5. Play every day

Why do anything if it’s not fun? If professional learning is going to result in lasting change, you HAVE to enjoy what you are doing. While not everything will be exciting, you can bring excitement to anything you are doing.

Coaching questions to encourage play-based professional learning:
  • How can I make this more fun for me?
  • How can I make this more fun for my learners?

6. It’s not about doing things the ‘right’ way. It’s about doing things in a way that’s ‘right for your learners'

You know your learners and the context of your school community better than anyone. Trust your teacher judgement, particularly when introducing something new into your program. Take the things that make the most sense to you first, and park the rest until later. 

Coaching questions to help you build sustainable change:

  • What idea, resource or approach do I want to implement first?
  • Why have I chosen this as a starting point?
  • What will my next step be?

Can you hear that?
It's the sound of me cheering you on for embracing the agency that you have throughout your professional learning journey 👏
Kate oxox


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