I’m TPL-ing: Teacher Professional Leave 2010 – We’re off and racing in Victoria!

Today was the first Teacher Professional Leave Team Day and its come along at the right time in my career. Engaging and conversing with a new group of educators from different settings is always refreshing and something we don’t do enough. My TPL partner Jenni and I took the train to the city and arrived at our destination for the day… and  we were not disappointed. Looking out over the city from an amazing penthouse apartment redesigned into a very comfortable work space set the scene for an informative and engaging day…and lunch, well that’s another post.  Amazing!

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On a serious note, Day 1 really made us appreciate how fortunate we are to be involved in this program. After reflecting upon why we initially applied for TPL, we started to discover what the e5 Instructional Model represents. 

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We were also given our very own copies of the ‘e5 Black Album’ (the complete e5 Instructional Model manual) ,so I’ll be referring to it here. We’ve all had one of those ‘ah ha’ moments when past knowledge and new knowledge combine to form a new understanding, well, I think we had one of those moments.  This new knowledge will now guide our inquiry into best teacher practice.

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The e5 Instructional Model is about describing and recognising what teachers do in classrooms which engage students in quality teaching and learning. Quality transactions between teacher and student significantly improves  student learning outcomes and this has been well researched. We need to have an understanding of what this looks like, feels like and sounds like in action.

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Darrell Frazer, Deputy Secretary, Office for Government School Education articulates this well in ‘The Black Album’ . He states:

‘In order to improve teacher practice, teachers must not only understand what it looks like to improve in different domains of learning, but they must also believe they are capable of improving their practice.’

‘The e5 Instructional Model is not a recipe for teacher practice but rather a framework to inform conversations and guide the observation, critique and reflection of classroom practice. ‘

‘I invite every educator to engage with the e5 Instructional Model as a framework for defining what high quality instruction looks like in the Victorian government education system.’

Another powerful quote contained in this document has been taken from Elmore 2004, School Reform from the Inside Out (Harvard Education Press, Cambridge, MA)

‘Over the long term it is impossible to improve student performance without eventually improving  the quality of teaching and learning that occurs in classrooms and schools.’

Over the weeks to come I’ll be researching and writing about the e5 Instructional Model in detail and outlining our TPL inquiry. Thank you to our presenters Kaye Fletcher, Jennifer Gervasoni and Catharine Kleinitz for a terrific day.

Cheers Nina

Upcoming Post: A 5 Year Old’s  Journey into Literacy: Mapped for a Year- An Interwoven Weave.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “I’m TPL-ing: Teacher Professional Leave 2010 – We’re off and racing in Victoria!

  1. averil2

    I’ve been familiarising myself with the e5IM so I can be knowledgeable when discussing this model with others and it’s far more interesting than my reports. It’s not often I come across something where I go, ‘this is really heading in the right direction’.
    It has challenged me to look at what I’m doing with new focus and that’s important. I like working towards a goal and set new goals regularly. My first goal is to develop a ‘deeper’ understanding of the e5 IM, which for me means creating some sort of map so I can articulate what this means. At the moment I can’t articulate this. My understanding is ‘like a dog’s dinner’.
    I have ideas which are most likely misconceptions and I value your comment for pointing this out. There is no point me having the fundamental basics incorrect. If I just work on one domain within my teaching at the moment, then I’ll have improved my teaching significantly. I’m still choosing which one, but I’ll be posting my findings within this blog and in other spaces.
    I’ve been thinking about where I sit in this model for the various domains and I’d have to say ‘I’m all over the shop’. I agree with what you said that there will be times when you’re operating at different levels of the model.
    Thanks for commenting and we do look happy in the photos. I can see this is going to require a lot of honest reflection… Hmmmm!
    Cheers Nina

  2. Nina, you have sparked some ‘aha moments ‘for me too. I reflected on your comments about the e5IM, particularly about Level 4 being your definite goal at all times. Like you (I’m assuming!), my preferred style of teaching aligns with Level 4 with a more student-focussed approach and a role more as facilitator than explicit teacher. However, in reality, that is not always possible and, in some cases, not appropriate. I think as an effective teacher, I should ‘challenge misconceptions through the use of specific tasks and questions to extend student thinking’ (Explore Level 4). However, on Day 1 of my teaching with a new group, I will be concsious of the need to develop rapport and trust and the right kind of environment to ensure that a challenge will lead to deeper thinking, rather than student retreat! For me, operating at Level 4 depends not only on teacher capabilies, values, beliefs, skills, energy level, confidence etc but also on how the students are feeling and their skills, motivation and prior experience. K, ACEP

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