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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Embedded Professional Development: Team Learning at Guthrie CSD

By Nelson Coulter

For the last three years, Guthrie CSD has embarked on an interesting model of professional development.  On three days during each school year, both the instructional staff and the students come together for collaborative learning, during the school day.  The underlying driver in this model is that each person on the campus, regardless of age, is a LEARNER.  As well, an assumption in this model is that the learning of the adults in the organization is just as important to the health and well-being of the school as is the learning of the students.

On October 4, 2012, Guthrie CSD instructional staff and all students (Pre-K through grade 12), gathered to learn about the Guthrie Graduate Profile (GGP).  The GGP is a model of the intended skills, abilities, and knowledge for which the Guthrie community aspires for each of its graduates.

The key dimensions of the Guthrie Graduate Profile are:

  • Learners/Problem Solvers/Critical Thinkers
  • Effective Communicators
  • Persons of Strong Character
  • Productive and Valuable Team Members
  • Compassionate and Responsible Citizens
The agenda for the school-wide learning on October 4, 2012, consisted of the following:

1)  JagFirmations - members of the group share affirmations for individuals or groups among the GCSD family who are doing extraordinary things on behalf of the school 
2)  Acceptable Use Policy Overview - presented by student Ashton Gilbert
3)  Guthrie Graduate Profile (GGP) Overview - presented by superintendent Nelson Coulter
4)  GGP dimension of Learners/Problem Solvers/Critical Thinkers - presented by secondary teacher Danny Sloan
5)  GGP dimension of Effective Communicators - presented by secondary teacher Janie Canales
6)  GGP dimension of Persons of Strong Character - presented by elementary teacher Aleshia Withers
7)  GGP dimension of Productive and Valuable Team Members - presented by principal Kevin Chisum
8)  GGP dimension of Compassionate and Responsible Citizens - presented by counselor Lynn Hill
9)  GGP– Rubric Overview - presented by elementary teacher Buffy Wilson

Making a collective commitment to producing graduates that possess the skills, the behaviors, and the ways of thinking expressed in the GGP alludes to an important mindset of the stakeholders of the Guthrie CSD.  That mindset is one of choosing more for Guthrie students than solely academic instruction; rather, it is a commitment to the development of the students as whole persons, each possessing the qualities and skills that will make them successful in future school settings, in the world of work, and in life.

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