A PD Pathway That Elevates Teacher Voice

Personalized Professional Learning: A Job-Embedded Pathway for Elevating Teacher Voice
By Allison Rodman
(ASCD, 2019 – Learn more)

Reviewed by Amy Whitehead

In my district’s professional learning facilitation team, we are always looking for ways to engage our teachers over the course of the whole year.

In the 2018-19 school year we put together a very ambitious multi-strand professional learning series. The goal was to personalize it as much as possible for teachers while also relying on district data to drive the topics. I was happy to read in Allison Rodman’s book that we were on the right track!

We issued a survey, which Rodman recommends, and got feedback along the way, letting us know how valuable teachers thought the experience was for them. It was our most successful year in terms of consistent participation from start to finish.

What’s inside the book

ASCD describes the book this way:

This book is a step-by-step guide for diagnosing, planning, executing, evaluating, and refining teachers’ professional learning. Supported by research and informed by the experiences of educators across the United States, it distills best practices for adult learning into clear advice and ready-to-use tools.

The core chapters include:

  • Introduction
  • Part I: Voice
  • Part II: Co-Creation
    • Chapter 2. Building a Personalized Professional Learning Model
    • Chapter 3. Sharing Professional Learning Offerings
  • Part III: Social Construction
    • Chapter 4. Designing Personalized Professional Learning Experiences
    • Chapter 5. Facilitating Personalized Professional Learning Experiences
  • Part IV: Self-Discovery
    • Chapter 6. Valuing Professional Learning
    • Chapter 7. Expanding the Vision for Growth
  • Appendix A. Tools for Taking Action
  • Appendix B. A Personalized Professional Learning Model

My Thoughts

I was excited to read this book to get additional ideas for how to refine the way my team plans professional learning. Although the targeted audience is building leaders (and I plan to be one someday), I still found some gems that my team can use in future planning.

The full set of Tools for Taking Action Templates (Appendix 1) was awesome! I am a visual person, so having tools like this as I draft and plan will be very helpful and the fact that they are downloadable is even better.

For my particular role, Chapter 7, “Expanding the Vision for Growth,” was the most beneficial. I was excited to see some new ideas to consider for innovating the delivery of professional learning even further. This list includes virtual book clubs using Flipgrid or Voxer, podcasts, collaborative chats, and teacher-led observation protocols. In particular, Flipgrid and thinking about using podcasts as a means of professional learning sparked my thinking and curiosity factor.

This book is a must read for school leaders especially but also for anyone who plans and facilitates professional learning!

Amy Whitehead (@amy_r_whitehead) is a district elementary English Learner Resource Teacher in Louisville, KY. Amy has been in education for 15 years. She has #leadershipgoals and is currently pursuing an EdS in Instructional Leadership and School Administration at Bellarmine University. Amy is an advocate for English Learners and their families and believes that engagement and personalized learning is key for ALL learners. She is Google Level 1 certified and plans to become a Google certified Trainer.



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