Teacher feedback is the single most important piece of data against which a PD experience should measure itself. Courses and workshops that claim to teach teachers about learning should by definition be really good at both. Teaching and Learning. In staff rooms across the province the question always gets asked “How was your conference?”. The answer that follows defines that experience and whether teachers will return. As teachers we are the biggest critics of PD and we should be. We are experts in teaching and learning and expect the best when we give up our time to improve our practice. Cohort 21 was born out this philosophy and strives to learn and improve each year. We reflect, we change and we get better. We ask our students do this all the time so it is only right that we practice what we preach. Here are a few exit reflections from this years cohort.
Best PD I’ve done. No question. Great programmes; great facilitators; wonderful people all around.
Alan MacInnis – Trafalgar Castle School
An amazing opportunity to work with other teachers who are willing to explore 21st Century learning tools and their link to best practices and teaching. Not all teachers have a high level of technology skill, but all have a high level of motivation. They want to attend, and they want to learn.
Jennifer Wright – Ashbury College
It’s a shot of adrenaline straight into the heart of the teacher. The drive to read, to share, and to improve is palpable in the room and you leave each time wishing you could talk more, read more, think more – and it does! It is a truly immersive experience that gives teachers the opportunity, the tools, and the know-how to keep the conversations – and the learning – going. It’s reading, it’s blogging, it’s tweeting, it’s talking, it’s sharing, it’s learning… it’s a perfect model for teacher improvement.
Aaron Vigar – Rosseau Lake College
This is a thought-provoking, inspiring, motivating professional development network. The educators are passionate professionals looking to improve the student learning experience at their schools and in their classrooms, and it was a privilege to work with everyone over the course of this year.
Ruth Eichholtz – The York School
I loved this experience! The knowledge and passion that Garth and Justin brought to each event was fantastic! I was always engaged, excited to participate and learn more! Well done, gentlemen! Well done.
Danielle Ganley – Holy Trinity School
Cohort 21 is an amazing learning experience that will push you out of your comfort zone or build on what you already know. For me, it’s been very transformative in how I use and value technology in my classroom, and also, how I reflect on my own pedagogy and course design. I strongly recommend Cohort 21 to anyone with a growth mindset.
Tim Rollwagen – Lakefield College
Being exposed to new opportunities for genuine and authentic integration of technology into the classroom. The opportunity is available to enter into the Cohort at your own level and make it work for you. There is a wealth of knowledge available within this group from facilitators and colleagues which can be taken, transferred and applied to your context. Every aspect of the face to face meetings can be applicable into your classroom space and the blogs are a wealth of information.
Bart van Veghel – The Bishop Strachan School
Inspired and encouraged to be surrounded by like minded teachers who wish to keep evolving, keep learning, and keep improving the learning of their students. Great to be exposed to leading edge ed tech and its successful application. Access to a great community of teachers and lifelong learners – priceless!
Louis Sulek – Albert College
An amazing opportunity to push your thinking about 21st century skills and how to engage and motivate students and colleagues to integrate technology in meaningful ways.
Erin O’Rourke – Branksome Hall
The premier PD opportunity to deeply understand personalized learning in the 21st century. This is the most effective way to gain first-hand experience with blended, personalized learning in a collaborative network of professionals. This is an active, challenging, and highly worthwhile learning experience; your investment of time, energy, and resources will come back to you tenfold.
Miss Celeste Faye Kirsh – The Bishop Strachan School
Cohort 21 provided a forum to explore my own areas of professional inquiry within a supportive community. The results were contextual to our own schools and yet as we shared out, there was much that we all found relevant. The discussions were supportive, reflective and empowering. I’m thankful that the on-line community will continue.
Catherine McCauley – St. Mildred’s Lightbourn
Cohort 21 is a really positive experience for anyone who is passionate about teaching and wants to learn something new. The format is highly personalized and the relationships you create during the face-to-face sessions continue through the online engagement. We made so many connections this year among similar teachers across different schools, and I am looking forward to continuing in involvement in the community.
Adam Caplan – St. Clement’s School