Authentic Professional Learning in NTIP Ottawa Catholic SB - Karen McEvoy

Context & Overview of the Ottawa Catholic School Board New Teacher Induction Program

In an effort to meet the needs of our NTIP Teachers and their Mentors, all NTIP participants were invited to complete an entrance survey to identify professional learning goals and interests early in the fall. In addition, teacher self-assessments along with pre- and post- session surveys were administered to promote regular reflection and goal setting and to solicit feedback around professional learning opportunities throughout the year.

The data collected was used to design a variety of differentiated professional learning opportunities for our K-12 NTIP participants while building coherence around our OCSB Board Priorities, CGEs, the Deep Learning Framework (NPDL Elements: Learning Environments, Learning Partnerships, Pedagogical Practices and Leveraging Digital) and Deep Learning Competencies (Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, Citizenship, Character, Creativity ~ NPDL 2015). This practice supported our need to monitor the diverse entry points, differentiate, and offer choice to all NTIP teachers and their mentors while leveraging partnerships and social capital within our district.

K-12 differentiated opportunities to learn, explore, collaborate, and share were offered through a variety of platforms including: OCSB NTIP Google+ Community, NTIP Google Site and Blog, Twitter #NTIPocsb, Face-to-Face Networking Sessions, Mentor-Mentee Collaborative Inquiries (i.e. Numeracy, Assessment, Inquiry, Kindergarten, FNMI etc.), Mentor Coaching Institute, Hands-on Workshops, Job-Embedded Coaching/Networking (observation, co-planning, co-teaching, co-moderating), NTIP Summer Sessions, Leading & Learning Series (after hours sessions), Educator-Facilitated Learning Fairs and Self-Selected Breakout Sessions.

These professional learning sessions and networks were often collaboratively co-constructed and co-facilitated by K-12 multi-disciplinary teams including: NTIP Mentors, Student Success Consultants, IT Specialists, Principals, Learning Partners, Department Coordinators, Itinerant Resource Teachers, Math AQ specialists, NTIP Mentors, Library Techs, TLLP and PKE participants and Learning Connections Teachers/ Early Adopter Educators.

In addition to our NTIP Google WebSite and Twitter hashtag #NTIPocsb, a Google+ Community was created for all OCSB NTIP participants, principals, and system support to facilitate on-going communication, networking, feedback, discussion, collaboration, and the sharing of student artifacts, resources and research articles across schools, panels and roles. All information within this community is shared and organized around big ideas/themes for easy retrieval. Currently, this Community includes over 400 active OCSB members (K-12 NTIP Educators, Consultants, Coordinators, Principals, Superintendents and Director of Education).

Reflecting on the data collected and analyzed over the course of the year (including our Exit Survey) from participating NTIP Teachers, Mentors, Principals and Consultants, strong quantitative trends/patterns and anecdotal evidence indicates that our Mentoring Program and differentiated learning menu with multiple entry points served to improve: teacher confidence, goal setting, pedagogical practices, growth mindset, commitment to continuous learning, reflection practices and pivotal new learning partnerships (between teachers and students/parents, between teachers and their principals and mentors and between other teachers within their school and across other schools).

Both LTO’s and New Permanent Teachers reported that the time they spent with their formal and informal mentors was extremely valuable and instrumental in their professional growth and ability to foster student success. Respondents also stated that the choices and variety of professional learning sessions offered ( i.e. NTIP Summer Session, New Teacher Retreat, STEAM Academy, Makerspace Lab, Marcia Tate, K-8 Collaborative Inquiry, Math Learning Fair, Deep Learning Sessions, IEP and Assistive Technology Session and our NTIP SEL / Mental Health session) were beneficial to both their own and their students' learning.

Finally, NTIP teachers also indicated that having the opportunity to participate in small group, differentiated, self-selected learning sessions throughout the year provided them with additional opportunities to expand their mentoring webs and to learn alongside experienced educators from other schools, TLLP Educators, Math AQ3 Specialists, Library Technicians, and Central Support Staff around 20+ different themes including: Numeracy and Catholic Social Teachings, The Arts and the 6 C’s, Literacy and Science, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Culture, Math and the Arts, The Assessment Loop, FSL and Social Studies, Documenting Student Thinking & Learning, Digital Resources to Support Inquiry and Assessment, Behaviour Management, STEAM, Makerspace, Full Day Kindergarten and Inquiry, Mindful Use of Technology to Support Student Voice, Math Inquiry, Leveraging Technology ~ Hapara and Google, Global Competencies and New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL) among other self identified needs.

The 4R's of Authentic Learning in Action in OCSB


Mentoring Webs and New Learning Partnerships fostered through K-12 Learning opportunities co-planned & co-facilitated by OCSB K-12 Educators, Mentors, TLLP Educators & Consultants.

NTIP Networked Learning examples:

K-12 NTIP Retreat

NTIP Math AQ3 Learning Fairs

K-8 STEAM Academy

Deep Learning Fair

K-12 Collaborative Inquiry

NTIP Website

NTIP Google+ Community

NTIP Twitter #NTIPocsb

Coaching Institutes 1 and 2 and Coaching for NTIP Mentors

Impact - NTIP Teacher Feedback (2016-17)
  • Many staff members were willing to share ideas on lesson plans and behaviours management techniques. Observing other French teachers was also very helpful.
  • We had similar philosophies on education, she helped take my philosophy and put it to action in the classroom. She had many years experience teaching my grade level and special education background and was able to offer advice and support throughout my LTO
  • The St. Thomas More community is incredibly supportive and former Grade 2 teachers and other staff have been so supportive and welcoming.
  • Staff offered resources and shared ideas with me which made this experience one I will never forget. Administration also provided feedback that has been so validating.
  • It was very helpful to be able to meet with my mentor to discuss teaching strategies, class management strategies, report card comments, differentiation, appraisal etc. … She was able to help alleviate any stress or uncertainty I had about new situations guiding me to be successful.
  • I would not have made it through the year without my mentor, my pillar of support. I was able to observe her class with some of my release time, she provided me with excellent advice, support with the curriculum, parents, social issues
  • I collaborated with teachers in my department who were teaching the same courses as me (shared google folders), my department head and teacher at another school (we are both teaching ENG 1D).
  • I joined twitter and now get many ideas through #NTIPocsb
  • Developing team relations is critical in finding your own balance
  • My mentor was extremely supportive and always around to answer questions and support my development as a first year teacher. I have gained a lot of confidence through this program and with his guidance.

NTIP Entrance Survey to capture professional learning interests and needs

Professional learning sessions designed around needs and interests

NTIP form to request timely one-on-one support

Self-Selected choices for breakout sessions i.e. K-12 Collaborative Inquiry & K-8 Differentiated Numeracy Learning Fair

K-12 Deep Learning Fair

K-12 Intro to Deep Learning Leading after hours sessions 4:30-6:30

Coaching Institute I, ll and for Mentors/Associate Teachers

NTIP Exit Survey

Impact - NTIP Teacher Feedback (2016-17)
  • I would like to continue learning about new makerspaces and exploring programs, such as, the entrepreneurial adventure program that support deep learning and innovation.
  • I think another session on Deep learning would be valuable for new teachers as they begin to plan for next year.
  • A parent teacher conferencing seminar would be wonderful. Preparing for interviews for the first time can be a little unsettling for a first time teacher.
  • Maybe a session on writing report cards or other more administrative things NTIP teachers are doing for the first time.
  • I need to further develop my organization, documentation, and communication with parents. I believe I can design engaging and challenging lessons that are differentiated. I can manage the classroom well and have built a great rapport with many of my students.
  • More Deep Learning, use of Google Apps for Education, Design Thinking, Mindfulness + stress reduction, a course on how/where to find resources (navigating the Staff Portal) and Comprehensive Literacy!
  • I would recommend another session on deep learning with a focus on the 6 competencies for new teachers.
  • I would like to continue learning about new makerspaces and programs that support entrepreneurialism and innovation.
  • More of the breakout sessions - we loved them!!! And maybe more during the first semester. I find that second semester is heavy with activities.
  • Really like the IEP/SEL Session but it would be great to have earlier on in the year so that teachers can have the support prior to writing 1st IEP
  • We would really like more time for observation and collaboration time given through NTIP.
  • My mentor and I worked on IEPs, assessment and classroom management… we also developed guided reading and guided math programs. We also co-created and co-taught lessons in her classroom and it was very timely and helpful.

Mentors/ Lead Teachers use Collaborative Inquiry process (Plan, Act, Observe, Reflect) to document and share Deep Learning Collaborative Inquiries

OCSB NTIP Google + Community to foster sharing and collaboration

OCSB NTIP website provides access to Passion Projects and Collaborative Inquiries shared by Mentor teachers after Learning Fairs

TLLP action research projects foster rich new learning partnerships between Mentors and NTIP mentees where the learning process is modelled and shared

Sample 1

* Sample 2

* Sample 3

* Sample 4

* Sample 5

Impact - NTIP Teacher Feedback (2016-17)
  • I look forward to gaining more knowledge as I take more AQ courses and explore opportunities for next year. I will continue to challenge myself to incorporate more technology into my teaching and sharing evidence of the learning happening with my students.
  • I will continue to integrate deep learning opportunities through inquiry and all the 6 C's on an even more intentional level. I also hope to spiral the curriculum more often as well.
  • I plan to continue my focus on differentiation, perhaps by taking special education part 2. I also look forward to attending math sessions next year.
  • Really appreciate the time to have PD as a new teacher. It was hard to get to every session, as timing with staff meetings, personal affairs, etc made it tough. I hope that there will be more sessions to attend as a 2nd even a 3rd year teacher.
  • I plan to continue my focus on differentiation, perhaps by taking special education part 2. I also look forward to attending math sessions next year.
  • We used our time to co-create RSTs, good practices for exams and to meet with other colleagues to further share resources and best practices.
  • We co-planned and co-taught lessons, worked on digital student portfolios, assessment tools, and report card writing. We were able to talk about ALPs for next year and the different tools to assess reading, writing and math.
  • We worked on creating a classroom website, alternative comments on IEPs and case conferences and IPRCs that I would be leading…
  • I saw the holes in my teaching and was able to address them with your support.
Real World

K-8 Math AQ3 Specialists Learning Fair (Partnership with NTIP Teachers)

K-12 Deep Learning Fair with student artifacts

Makerspace Academy co-facilitated by classroom teachers and Library Techs.

STEAM Academy

TLLP Learning Fair and partnership with NTIP

After hours Intro to Deep Learning Series

Leading and Learning Journey - Learning and Leading pathways

Impact - NTIP Teacher Feedback (2016-17)
  • I was exposed to different approaches and perspectives that I am still absorbing!
  • I would like to participate in more workshops to learn about differentiated instruction and assessment. I would also like to observe more French classes to gain more ideas and to see others teach FSL.
  • I really enjoyed learning from experienced teachers about how to implement new strategies and classroom management techniques.
  • I appreciated the Google+ Community and the NTIP website (to access resources without having to ask for them)
  • Yes. However, I would like more collaboration and observation time out of class with other teachers. It was most useful.
  • I would like to continue learning about new makerspaces and exploring programs, such as, the entrepreneurial adventure program that support deep learning and innovation. There were many new resources and approaches shared that were new to me.
  • The session on Deep learning was very valuable for new teachers as we begin to plan for the year.
  • I joined twitter and now get many great new ideas there.
  • I network with many teachers at my school and those I met at the EdInnovation conference and learn fairs.
  • Loved the learning fairs - they were very creative and fun - holistic learning at its best. They were great opportunities for good conversation with other teachers, and I always left with resources that I could, and will, use immediately in my classroom.
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