Although PEPLC has been a great learning journey so far, there are a few misconceptions that are important to clear up as our professional learning community moves forward with its learning. If you are a PEPLC member or interested in joining one of our numerous learning teams from around the world, thanks for choosing to read on.
#PEPLC Mission Statement
Support physical education teachers by exposing them to evidence-based research so they may question and change their teaching and leadership practices in order to enhance the learning outcomes of their students.
#PEPLC Vision Statement
Provide an ongoing support network for physical educators to grow professionally, learn from others and contribute to a community by sharing their knowledge and experiences.
No need to work at a fast and furious pace
From its conception, PEPLC was intended to provide its members with a source of long term sustainable professional development free of charge. There are no deadlines that must be adhered to during this process. Each learning team is encouraged to progress through the different phases of the project at a pace that best suits its members and the team itself.
Completing the 4 phases of the PEPLC journey may take 6 months for one group but a year and a half for another group. This is absolutely fine as we expect that there will be vast differences between the teams in regards to when they finish their particular project together. What is most important throughout the process is that there is a genuine commitment to the learning that will take place.
Missing a team google hangout does not signify an end to your involvement
We are all mothers, fathers, partners to someone we care about, coaches, teachers, and passionate about other things outside the world of education. We understand that it is very difficult to time it so all of your team’s members can be present at each and every Google Hangout that takes place.
Of course the process is made easier if we can all commit to times that we are available for Google Hangout sessions with our teams, but unexpected things can pop up or we can be bombarded by extra responsibilities in our lives. These moments will no doubt make it difficult to work with our PEPLC learning teams. However, if a Google Hangout is missed, it does not mean that your team is doomed and will fail. Because Google Hangouts are streamed live, it is easy to stay abreast of your team’s latest progress. As well, by staying in touch with your learning leaders, you will know exactly where the group is at and what has been learned and shared to date. As well, you can always access the PEPLC podcasts to tune in and listen to the valuable discussions from all of the other learning groups around the world (https://itunes.apple.com/sg/podcast/peplc-peplc-podcast/id693541582?mt=2)
We all have busy lives and must strive to be balanced. PEPLC should never take away time needed for professional and personal priorities in your life. Of course there has to be some element of commitment if you join a learning team, but essentially you join under your own terms and these terms are dependent upon the life schedules that we all have. If you are just too overloaded with work and family responsibilities, it is fine to take a break then join back in when you are ready. The most important thing is that you all stay in contact with your learning leader to let them know when things get too hectic to handle. This will allow your leaders to plan accordingly throughout the process.
You are all on your own
We couldn’t disagree more! If you are a learning leader or in a group that hasn’t begun its PEPLC journey there are no worries at all. Given the nature of online professional learning communities, each team will have its own entry and finish points. If a team is having trouble getting started, we have help readily available to assist in the process. Do not hesitate to contact any of the following educators for advice in getting started;
Andy Vasily, Nathan Horne, Kelly Ann Parry, Matthew Pomeroy, Naomi Hartl, or Mel Hamada as they are very familiar with the process and more than happy to help out. Nobody is out there on their own in regards to the PEPLC learning journey, so we encourage you to contact us for help if needed.
Not a flash in the pan but a slow and steady drip of authentic PD
The main aim of the PEPLC network is to provide physical education teachers with long term sustainable support in the development of their teaching practice. It is about sharing ideas that we are implementing within our PE programs. It is about sharing our experiences and learning from one another. It is about taking time to review research that exists that supports good teaching practice and having important discussions about this research on our learning teams. All of the above cannot be completed in the short term and will take a considerable amount of time to accomplish.
As we take in all of this new information, as learners, we naturally need time to let it digest. Throughout the process we will connect with certain ideas and concepts that resonate with us that we can implement in our own practice. Along with implementing these new ideas will no doubt come failure, but with failure comes success. This is why it is so important to share with your group what is working for you and what isn’t.
Dean Dudley, professor at Charles Sturt University, in Australia provided us with a great analogy a few months back on Twitter that I constantly refer to when discussing PD in my presentations. It is the analogy of the intravenous drip. That slow and steady drip that sustains us over time and keeps us going. This is exactly as the organizers of PEPLC envision the PD taking place. PEPLC is here to stay and is meant to be that slow and steady drip of authentic professional development that we all need in order to improve our teaching practice as physical educators. It is self-directed and autonomous learning which has been proven to be the most effective way to sustain motivation over time when it comes to better ourselves as teachers.
Summing it all up
To sum up, we want all current PEPLC members and any new teachers wanting to be involved in this project to understand that the whole process of professional development takes time. We already have some exemplar teams that we can all learn from, but the most important point is that PEPLC is here for the long term and will slowly be defined by the successes of the different teams as they move through their learning journeys together. We all have equal ownership over this great learning network.
HAPPY LEARNING to ALL PEPLC MEMBERS!!
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.