The whole class: personalized professional development is possible!

Do personalized and relevant professional development while walking the dog? By doing the dishes? Traveling to work? Three education professionals from the Conseil scolaire Viamonde say that yes, it can be done!

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Do personalized and relevant professional development while walking the dog? By doing the dishes? By traveling to work? Three education professionals from the Viamonde School Board say yes, it can be done!

For the past year, you will find Jennifer Mansell-Davies, Milène Brassard and Vicky Fauteux in a room at the Viamonde School Board training center once a month. In front of each, the laptop is open and a shared document outlines the conversation. In the middle of the table, the red light on a large microphone is flashing. Great lovers of podcasts, they wanted to adopt from the start a conversational tone, without script, as in their favorite podcasts. The three teacher-coaches discuss pedagogy: assessment, classroom management, technology integration and much more. Each has her role in the discussion: Milène, the “enthusiastic”, talks about her recent experiences in the classroom; Jen, mother of two boys, offers the perspective of the parent and that of the jargon mistress who knows how to define all the terms in education while Vicky, the one who thinks, questions and reformulates. 

The project All the class started when Jennifer, Milène and Vicky attended the CONNECT conference in Niagara Falls in May 2018. The three were inspired to find an innovative way to share their knowledge. After all, they have over 30 years of teaching experience in total and they keep up to date with new trends every day. Milène explains: "we wanted to have material ready when the listener wanted to receive it, professional development made to measure". Jennifer adds, “What we do in the education world is so important. I believe it as a parent as much as a teacher. It's amazing to have the chance to share what we have learned about pedagogy with our colleagues around the world ”.

The archives of All the class now include episodes on evaluation, the planning and innovation. Themes planned for 2019-2020 include Intervention Response, Effective Math Strategies, Wellness and Robotics. Jennifer, Milène and Vicky see their project as a virtual library where a director, a teacher or any education worker can select the theme that suits them in order to fill a need or satisfy their curiosity.

“Hot topics are the most popular,” says Vicky. For example, the episode on spiral planning was listened to 25% more often than the one on the countdown schedule. However, teacher feedback indicates that even the most everyday topics cause even the most seasoned teachers to question themselves and try new approaches and strategies. Jenna Gratton, teacher of 1st and 2e year in Windsor for eight years wrote to All the class to tell them, "I'm trying to change my methods this year and I'm using the podcast as inspiration."

You can listen All the class in your browser or download an application for listening to podcasts such as Podcast Addict.

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