“Teacher Professional Growth” means the career-long learning process whereby a teacher annually develops and implements a plan to achieve professional learning objectives or goals that are consistent with the Teaching Quality Standard. Source: Alberta Education Policy 2.1.5 (Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation)
“Professional Development” means practices and activities teachers do individually or collectively further understand the nature of teaching and learning, enhance professional practice and contribute to the profession. These activities provide opportunities for growth in knowledge, skills and attributes leading to improved practice. Professional development includes a broad range of activities.
“Teacher Professional Growth Plan” means a plan, developed by a teacher, which outlines the teacher’s proposed professional development activities to enhance their teaching practice.
Each professional practice standard describes competent practice for the teaching profession in Alberta and is supported by competencies and indicators appropriate to individuals at different stages in their careers. The applicable standard applies to certification, professional development as well as supervision and evaluation processes. In all instances reasoned professional judgement must be used to determine whether the applicable standard is being met.
The Teacher Professional Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy 2.1.5 (Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation) applies to all certificated staff, including school principals and central office professional staff.
Summary of Policy Requirements:
- Each teacher employed under a probationary or continuing contract is responsible for completing an annual professional growth plan.
- The plan is submitted for review or approval to the principal or group of teachers delegated by the principal.
- The plan may be a component of a long-term, multi-year plan or may be fulfilled by mentoring a teacher or supervising a student teacher.
- Each teacher will meet annually with the principal or delegated group of teachers to review the plan and in consultation decide whether the teacher has completed an annual growth plan that reflects the following requirements:
- the teacher’s self-assessment of learning needs
- the Teaching Quality Standard
- consideration of the educational plans of the school, system and government.
Understanding the Context
Teachers as well as school and jurisdiction leaders must consider the context in which they practice when they develop their professional growth plans. The context in which they carry out their professional duties is in constant flux. No two days are the same. The students bring with them their latest joys and sorrows. Weather changes. Schools, school jurisdictions, and communities suffer crises that affect the everyday operation of the school.
All three standards recognize the importance of context when determining competent professional practice. In judging whether the appropriate standard is being met, the context in which the individual is practising is of utmost importance.
In developing a professional growth plan, in addition to their self-identified learning goals based upon their professional practice standard, the teacher and school/jurisdiction leader must consider the larger context such as the education plans of the school, jurisdiction and Alberta Education resulting in optimal learning for all students in the school authority.