For Nancy Caramanico, PLP Fellow for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the excitement has come in watching teachers discover new ways to engage students in 21st Century learning, to “create representations of what they are learning.”

This cohort has developed a collegiality that comes with time. In their second year, these teachers are finding ways to make learning relevant to their teaching. Many of the teams in the cohort have developed plans for professional development, to spread the wealth to others in the district.

One team developed classes for the adult community, parents and grandparents to learn how to navigate the internet. Another developed a faculty wiki to provide resources for teachers.

“One really powerful thing is watching teachers want to share with other teachers in their building,” said Nancy about her cohort which includes both elementary and high school teams.

Another team created a survey based on the NETS standards and yet another brought in Science Leadership Academy’s Diane Laufenberg, holding their own “O’Harathon” based on SLA’s Educon conference for their own Cardinal O’Hara.

“One teacher commented that she had really learned so much,” said Nancy. “The next day she went into class and turned the project over to the students.” This student-centered focus worked, the result of the team’s effort.

“A really powerful thing is watching teachers want to share with other teachers,” said Nancy. “Our cohort of five teachers became so inspired, they wanted to share with the rest of the teachers. It’s contagious!”

Nancy, with the help of PLP, has offered her teachers Elluminate sessions, webinars on TPack, and leadership sessions for principals. The work is embedded and ongoing, providing a base of shared learning for the Diocese.

“I want to be sure our professional development is not overwhelming, that it empowers our teachers, ” she said.

PLP allows that to happen. “I believe in doing it well so it makes a difference in the lives of our students.”

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Susan Carter Morgan

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