Introducing the A+ Best Practices Center and the new Powerful Learning Network!

Your needs as an educator are changing. Your professional learning should evolve with you.

Introducing the new A+ Best Practices Center! We’ve got a slightly different name, but you can still expect research-proven practices for high-quality professional learning, networked learning with colleagues from across the state, and ongoing support that responds to your needs. 

Learning together is powerful. We know that when educators from every school district level participate in professional learning together, they leave with a shared vision and responsibility, better communication, more support for improved instruction, and a plan for effective and efficient classroom implementation. 

The Alabama Best Practices Center is changing how our professional learning networks serve educators for the 2024-2025 school year. Our Key Leaders Networks (KLN) and Powerful Conversations Networks (PCN) will merge into nine regionally based Powerful Learning Networks (PLN). We are also adding a new element to our Instruction Partner’s Network focused on Peer Coaching. Learn more about these additions below. 

About the Powerful Learning Network

We’re bringing together district/school leaders, instructional coaches/partners, and classroom teachers in one room to make a real impact on student learning! The heart and soul of what we do remain the same – the knowledge is in the room! Our network members drive the conversation with their unique experiences and perspectives.

The feedback from our pilot program in Oxford and Montgomery has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re constantly improving to make this networking experience even richer and more impactful. We’ll also incorporate role-alike breakout groups and differentiated learning opportunities.

Collaborative professional learning is important. Here’s what this change will add to your learning experience:

  1. Creating a shared vision and goals for all educators in a school/district: Collaborative learning fosters a shared understanding of educational goals and a cohesive vision for the school. This alignment helps create a positive and unified school culture.
  2. Improved communication across teams: Communication channels improve when teachers and principals engage in joint professional development. This collaboration can lead to more effective communication strategies within the school, enhancing overall efficiency.
  3. Enhanced leadership skills at all levels: Principals and teachers can exchange insights and strategies during joint learning experiences, contributing to the professional growth of both parties. This can result in improved leadership skills at all levels of the school.
  4. More innovation and time dedicated to problem-solving: Teachers and principals can collectively address challenges, share solutions, and implement best practices to improve teaching and learning outcomes.
  5. More positive school culture: A collaborative approach to professional development promotes a positive and supportive school culture. This culture is vital for teacher morale, student engagement, and overall school success.
  6. Higher student achievement: Studies indicate a positive correlation between collaborative professional development and improved student achievement. When teachers and principals work together to enhance their skills, it often translates into better learning experiences for students.

Peer Coaching IPN

In response to requests from our members, the A+ Best Practices Center is launching a new cohort of the Instructional Partners Network (IPN) summer of 2024 with a special focus on Peer Coaching. Peer coaching is a non-evaluative reciprocal process in which teachers are paired to discuss and share a strategy, observe each other, and provide mutual support (Hodges Simons, 2006). The research is very clear on the effectiveness of peer coaching in creating sustained improvement in instructional practices and student achievement (Joyce & Showers, 2002).

This one-day training will focus on the theory, practice, and implementation of peer coaching to build collective efficacy. Participants will experience the 6-Phase Model of Learning as they explore the skills and dispositions necessary for successful peer coaching. Attendees will practice the peer coaching cycle and discuss and plan for effective peer coaching and peer coaching programs. Attendees will also experience guided practice in the Triad Coaching Model from McREL (pg. 6). We look forward to learning together in new innovative and effective ways next school year! Be sure to register for the learning here.