A day dedicated to professional development

The 3rd Summit of Professional Development in Education (#SommetDP) was eagerly awaited. The event, organized by CADRE21 and many partners (including École branchée), was postponed last year due to the pandemic. It was worth the wait and the particularly rich exchanges throughout the day, both on stage between the invited panelists and in the chat between the participants. Here is our report.

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The 3rd Summit of Professional Development in Education (#SommetDP) was eagerly awaited. The event, organized by CADRE21 and many partners (including École branchée), was postponed last year due to the pandemic. It was worth the wait and the particularly rich exchanges throughout the day, both on stage between the invited panelists and in the chat between the participants.

“Professional development is a complex process that must be done in synergy between the various actors, whether they are close to home or from further afield. In 2022, many possibilities are open to us, ”testified Isabelle Turcotte, from the First Seigneuries School Services Center, in the chat.

The 3rd DP Summit aimed to highlight the winning conditions for professional development in the field under three angles in particular: continuing education, leadership and support, as well as professional integration. We present to you a summary of the discussions around each theme.

Panel on continuing education

"You have to bet on the desire to teach and the pleasure of learning or the pleasure of teaching and the desire to learn," said Henri Boudreault, vice-dean of studies at the Faculty of Education of UQAM.

New Professional skills framework for the teaching profession from the Quebec Ministry of Education was at the heart of the first panel of the day. Remember that this repository was updated and published in the last few months. 

Panelists were first asked to name the skills that were most important to them. Competencies 9 and 10, which aim for collaboration (Get actively involved in the school team and Collaborate with family and community partners), and competency 13, which relates to interpersonal skills (Act in accordance with the ethical principles of the profession), were particularly highlighted.

The panelists took turns arguing that initial training is no longer an end in itself but should be seen as a first step towards other learning approaches. Everyone has an interest in adopting a lifelong learner posture. The teacher is neither more nor less than the lead learner in his class! 

Moreover, the challenge for academia to get closer to practice still remains. “There is an issue of alignment between the initial training of teachers and the reality on the ground. We must succeed in giving meaning. Students must be encouraged to develop their ability to adapt, because the realities in schools are dynamic and constantly changing, ”Mr. Boudreault said.

In addition, collaboration between teachers has emerged as a central element of in-service training. "A teacher's worst enemy is himself if he works alone," said Boudreault bluntly. However, collaboration needs to be organized and planned for it to work. By setting specific goals, bringing together interested people, and providing spaces for feedback and quick, concrete application, positive results can be achieved.

“Let’s give time, moments, situations to allow teachers to meet and discuss. We must encourage mutual aid and sharing, ”Mr. Boudreault also said. As several have pointed out, however, time is sorely lacking in the school world. This remains a challenge for all. 

Collaboration vs. Cooperation

  • Collaboration: Take advantage of each other's strengths to carry out a project
  • Cooperation: Separate tasks between each individual to lead a project

Here is the croquinote (sketchnote) produced by our colleague Laurie Couture to summarize the discussions of the first panel: 

Leadership and support panel

"As a school principal, collaboration with the pedagogical advisor is essential for me, for the professional development of my school team and the success of the students", wrote Anne-Claude Poirier in the chat.

As a common thread, the competence to collaborate was part of the 2nd panel of the day while the components and events of the combined competence were at the center of the discussions. Combined competence refers to a working dyad made up of an educational advisor and a school principal. The two are twinned in order to take advantage of each other's strengths and bring about a form of interprofessional collaboration.

Once again, the panelists made it clear that it is not enough to place two people together for convincing results to emerge. “We cannot force collaboration, we have to encourage it, put winning conditions in place. Moreover, in the school environment, student success should always be the backdrop for any collaboration. 

Concretely, the combined competence implies:

  • Create a working alliance;
  • Plan action situations according to the established aim;
  • Mobilize the interactive resources necessary for the intervention situation;
  • Regulate practices throughout the professional intervention situation.

In short, you have to believe in it, give yourself the time and resources, then persevere in any support and collaboration process. While collaboration is to be planned, it must also leave room for flexibility. “Sometimes you have to step back in order to move forward better. "

The ultimate objective of the combined competence is to allow the two twins to develop a professional bond.

Here is the croquinote (sketchnote) directed by Amy Tran to summarize the discussions of the first panel:

Panel on professional integration

"Psychological support is very important in the teaching profession," Khadija Himmi commented in the chat.

The current context no longer makes it possible to ignore the challenges of professional integration into the teaching profession. Although there is a common intention to promote the welfare of novice teachers, who are graduating from college, and new "non-certified" (or "non-legally qualified" - NLQ) teachers, who are more and more numerous, there is still very little data allowing to evaluate and quantify the actions implemented.

The discussion held during the 3rd panel gave way to benevolence, openness and the importance of creating links between new teachers and their environment. “Hospitality is such an important key to professional well-being,” Hélène Cormier responded in the chat.

It appears that in the constant hubbub in schools, novice teachers are afraid to ask their colleagues for help. They would be afraid of disturbing, of being frowned upon with their questions. This is how the panelists named the importance of creating a favorable climate to welcome new teachers. The staff room then becomes a central place which must be synonymous with positivism. 

For example, Karina Saint-Germain, from the Saint-Hyacinthe School Services Center, shared an experience of welcoming “non-certified” teachers: five half-days of training were offered to new teachers in August, just before the start of the school year, in order to promote their integration and to introduce them to the people to consult if necessary (presentation of the functioning of schools, resources used, teaching strategies, class management, planning and evaluation of learning, etc.)

Anyone with experience in a school can have a positive influence on novice teachers. Every little bit counts. This is what emerged from the discussions.

Here is the croquinote (sketchnote) produced by Marie-Andrée Ouimet to summarize the discussions of the first panel:

And as a bonus, a photo taken behind the scene of this last panel of the day, hosted by our colleague Stéphanie Dionne:

The recordings of the three panels and the summary of the day will be available on the DP Summit website in the next few days.

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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