One of my favourite Ontario events is the Teacher Learning and Leadership Program (#TLLP) . This program, supported by a partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, has just celebrated its 10th cohort of educators engaged in teacher-driven learning and leadership projects–an option available to every school district in the province. This 1.5 year long project culminates in an amazing public celebration of learning that shows the impact that this educator learning has had on students, and in some cases, on the school, district, or beyond!
But what if your project doesn’t get chosen by your school board to be the lucky one or two proposals that move forward? Or, like me, you never even get to hear about the TLLP program until you attend an OTF Conference and begin networking with interested educators from across the province?
Or, what if you have young children and flexible evening workshops would work best for you?
Or, what if you are taking courses or are in a family caregiving role during the year, and only have your summers to add that extra learning?
Are you out of luck? No way!
Listening to Andy Hargreaves speak to the TLLP cohort, I was reflecting upon the varied designs for learning created by OTF, in addition to the TLLP, that reinforce the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Policy/Program Memorandum about Collaborative Professionalism:
Collaborative Professionalism values the voices of all and reflects anapproach in support of our shared responsibility to provide equitableaccess to learning for all.
The Ontario Teachers’ Federation continually engages educator voice through feedback that they carefully analyze and then use to build a learning ecosystem that allows educators many access points to professional learning. They consider what Carol Campbell et al., have recently identified in their Final Research Report: The State of Educators’ Professional Learning in Canada, as “Active and Variable Learning” so that,
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to professional learning;teachers are engaging in multiple opportunities for professionallearning and inquiry with differentiation for their professional needs.
I’m likely not aware of everything that is happening through OTF, but here are a few highlights:
- TLLP – The Teacher Learning and Leadership Program – a 2 year long learning journey for a select team or two at each school district
- OTF Connects – live webinars in the evenings that are archived for later viewing and exploration of posted links
- OTF Summer Institutes – 3 day summer sessions that dive more deeply into topics, led by expert facilitators who are usually Ontario educators
- Pedagogy B4 Technology Conference – 3 days of learning that includes a wide variety of sessions, carefully facilitated by Ontario educators to address a variety of learners, and a variety of formats – not your typical big ballroom sessions!
- TLLP – Provincial Knowledge Exchange
- Teacher Learning Co-op (TLC) – Collaborative teams of educator driven, on-going learning projects
I’m proud to be an Ontario educator and to see how the OTF learning ecosystem builds capacity among our educators. I’m even more proud to see our Teachers’ Federation consider the well-being and equity of our educators and provide them a variety of choice and voice!