Communities of Practice

We believe this at the SRCC - that learning and teaching should be fully integrated and that the best Educators are the ones who see themselves as artists and scientists and researchers, always on the quest to satisfy curiosity - their and/or the children's. 

When we look at how to offer professional development that meets the needs of our Educators we look at what we want to offer the children.  Then we step back and ask "what skills do we need more of, or to hone?".  Then we work together to offer opportunities for those skills to flourish.

One way we have used over the years is Communities of Practice.

A community of practice is a group of people who share something in common or want to learn a common subject together.

We have had two rounds of Communities of Practice in the past with the whole SRCC and have found them to be powerful in advancing our curriculum and connecting Educators from all our programs.

This time our curriculum leadership team identified 3 topics about which our Educators are expressing a desire to deepen their knowledge and skills.

So in the height of summer we offered all Educators the opportunity to voluntarily sign up for one of the following communities of practice:

1. The art of writing documentation
2. The Educator as Researcher
3. Exploring Representational Thinking

These would be 4 sessions over 4 Wednesday evenings - 2 hours per session. 

18 Educators jumped at the chance to dive into their own learning. We quickly had a waitlist but intentionally wanted to keep the groups intimate in the hope that good discussion would be possible.

As with most SRCC events we gather over food at 6:15pm all together. We catch up, chat, collaborate and nourish our bodies.  This may not look like Professional Development but the community building that happens over a meal strengthens collaboration across the SRCC and that is key to our success.

We then break into our communities and spend some time exploring the topic and thinking deeply.  

All participants are sent out with tasks to be accomplished before the next week.

Jennifer is leading the Teacher as Researcher group, Helen the Representational Thinking group and I am leading the Writing group.

It is immensely gratifying to see our Educators from across all 5 of our Centres committed to investing in their own competencies and being willing to stretch into new thinking and practice. This commitment makes us a stronger organisation and helps us to more fully live into our vision and values.

My hats off to Jennifer and Helen for all their preparation and to every Educator who has shown up physically and intellectually in the pursuit of excellence
we all share.

Way to go #TeamSRCC

We will run these same sessions in the Fall/Winter to accommodate those Educators who were unable to get into these sessions.

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