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Professional learning is a fundamental aspect to being an educator, as we need to be role models and

advocates lifelong learning ourselves. With that in mind, student focused professional provides tangible
results and resources, this motivates teachers to seek professional learning opportunities that will benefit
our practice while directly. In orders for new education to be considered quality professionally learning for
teachers, the “students learning needs must be the primary focus” (Timperley, 2011, p. 35). Tangentially,
we have outlined 3 more critical components that must be addressed during professional development:
building teacher self-efficacy, creating a habit of intellectual inquiry and evidence of learning.

With an overarching theme of “Student-Focused” professional development, one must be critical when
seeking knowledge, skills and/or methods for pedagogical application. Initially, educators must determine
what the specific needs are, for the student body that their working with, by building trust and providing a
safe learning environment” (Brookfield, 1995). With this information, educators can seek professional
development opportunities that will directly relate to their students. Teachers become intrinsically invested
in the continuing education opportunity as "outcomes for students become the reason for teacher for
engage in professional leaning" (Timperley , 2011, p. 25). Which positively relates to building teacher self-
efficacy, reinforced by Timperley (2011, p. 5) as “long term professional learning requires seriously
engaged teachers” utilizing newly acquired teaching methods.” This concept of student focused
professional learning reminds me of my second field placement, as I attend two separate opportunities, a
full day Jr High Phys. Ed PD day and a Friday afternoon PD session for ELLs (English Language
Learners). Despite being a Physical Education specialist I remember more about techniques and
resources from the 2 hour ELL PD session, due to the fact that I was dealing several ELL’s my Science 7
class. Retrospectively, this ELL professional development opportunity directly satisfied my students's
needs, allowing me to visualize specific classrooms applications, leading to a positive and meaningful
learning experience.

Furthermore, it is crucial for an educator to be inquisitive about their own teaching practices and also our
coworkers. This requires quality professional relationships relying on communal goals, optimistically
honest communication and trust. From this place of pedagogical exploration, we must constantly focus on
removing the Ego from our teaching practice, while striving to remain objective when assessing our own
work. I have experienced this personally after receiving feedback from a substitute that was watching me
teach during Field Experience 3. When I was critiqued, my immediate emotional response was defensive,
this is due to the fact I had not established a relationship with this person assessing my work. It is
fundamental that we are surrounded by “critical friends” (Özek et al., 2012) in our workplace as this
process of introspection “can touch raw nerves, because asking pointed questions can impinge on
teachers’ sense of professional identity and competence. (Timperley, 2001, pg 43)

Despite the qualitative nature of adolescent development, we must continuously collect evidence of
student learning to assess our teaching practice, which is the final major component of effective
professional development. Effective professional development for teachers must be focused on student
needs and "professionally defensible" (research based) to justify risks taken in the classrooms to
implement new methods or strategies. In summary, there needs to be a purposeful collection of learning
evidence, followed by an assessment process by one’s self and colleagues, critically analyzing the
connection from pedagogical theory to practice. Timperley (2011, p. 151) reinforces that educators
must constantly be reminding themselves of "what (their) students know and need to learn."
References

Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming critically reflective: a process of learning and change. Becoming a
critically reflective teacher, 28-48.

Özek, Y. H., Edgren, G., & Jandér, K. (2012). Implementing the critical friend method for peer feedback
among teaching librarians in an academic setting. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 7(4),
68-81.

Timperley, H.S. (2011). Realizing the power of professional learning. New York, NY: Open University
Press.