We apologize if things have been quiet around here for the last week or so, but we were busy preparing for the “Leadership Skills for Classroom Teachers—TLLP Training Session” last week! It was a phenomenal event!
To give you some background information, the TLLP stands for Teacher Learning and Leadership Program, which is “an annual project-based professional learning opportunity for experienced classroom teachers” here in Ontario.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Education, the TLLP “funds proposals from classroom teachers who seek a peer leadership role in curriculum, instructional practice or supporting other teachers. The three goals of the program are to create and support opportunities for teacher professional learning, foster teacher leadership and facilitate the sharing of exemplary practices with others for the broader benefit of Ontario’s students” (source).
Way back in November 2012, we applied for funding through the TLLP. At first, we were not 100% sure about the direction our proposed project would take, but after a lot of research, discussion, and reflection, we decided on math learning journals, specifically focusing on student problem solving, communication, connections, and reflections (we will discuss more about our project very soon!). In December, we received wonderful news from our school board that our project was selected and submitted for TLLP consideration. We were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to find our if our project had been approved! But wait we did, until February 2013 when our project was approved by the TLLP committee!
Fast forward to May 15-17, 2013 when we attended the “Leadership Skills for Classroom Teachers—TLLP Training Session” in downtown Toronto. It was a busy and intensive 2.5 day training session. We had to juggle quite a few work and home commitments to ensure that all three of us could be there, but it was well worth it! From the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, Mike Budd, Peter Lipman, and Rosemary Clark did an excellent job leading the event. Presenters from the Ministry of Education included Paul Anthony, Hanca Chang, and Nick Zacharopoulos, as well as presenters Claudine Laporte (AEFO), Malisa Mezenberg (OECTA), Susan Perry (OECTA), Brenda Sherry, and Peter Skillen. All the presenters and facilitators were so friendly, approachable, and informative! The Keynote Speakers were Dr. Ann Lieberman, from Stanford University, and Dr. Carol Campbell, from OISE/UT. Two excellent speakers who were entertaining, motivating, and knowledgeable!
Throughout the 2.5 day training session, we heard about scheduling, project management and budgeting…things I am not crazy about! Yes, I am known for my lists upon lists, but luckily I have two awesome partners—Elita who is great with budgets and Lisa who is super organized!
I really enjoyed the portion “Learning From Experience: What I Know Now that I Wish I Knew Then”. In this section, there were six presentations from last year’s TLLP cohort. We each attended three of the six presentations and we were able to hear about their projects, difficulties they encountered, successes they celebrated, and lessons they learned along the way. This was very informative and hearing first-hand accounts from people that were past (and also current) participants was fascinating.
On the last day, we were able to meet with other participants who matched our theme (math) and we had some excellent discussions! We can’t wait to collaborate with these excellent teacher leaders throughout the year!
One thing that we did mention over and over again throughout the 2.5 day session was how motivating and inspiring it was to be in a room packed full of teachers who are looking for new and innovative ways to develop and strengthen their own professional learning and that of their students!
If you are (or were) part of the TLLP community, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
We’ll be sharing our learning journey on this blog throughout the year. Check back often for updates and more information about our project and its implementation! We’ll be adding a TLLP button at the top of our page for easy access to these posts!
Let the journey begin!