Teacher Online Bookclub: Collaborative French Professional Development

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French Immersion, Teacher Professional Development, District-level initiative, Vancouver Island Region, 2017-2018

Description

French immersion teachers at all grade levels were given the opportunity to participate in an online book club looking at Roy Lyster's book, Vers une approche intégrée en immersion. Book club discussions were facilitated via Google Classroom, as to encourage teachers to read certain key parts of the book ahead of time, while not requiring them to physically get together (lack of time for pro-d after school is one of teachers' biggest challenges). 

As a culmination to the online book club meetings, Roy Lyster traveled to the Greater Victoria area and his expenses were shared by SD61 and SD62 French professional development funds. Roy spent three days with SD61 and SD62 teachers:

Day 1 - Regular instructional day. Elementary French immersion teachers were released to spend a full day engaging in an interactive workshop with Roy Lyster. Venue in SD61 (Victoria).
Day 2 - Regular instructional day. Middle and Secondary French immersion teachers were released to spend a full day engaging in an interactive workshop with Roy Lyster. Venue in SD62 (Sooke).
Day 3 - Lower-Island Professional Development day. French Immersion teachers from both groups got together for a final half-day interactive workshop with Roy Lyster. Second half the day was spent developing classroom inquiries and projects relating to Roy's book.

Outcome

French Immersion teachers found their time with Roy Lyster to be invaluable. Pre-reading activities allowed them to jump directly into the workshop without needing too much time to establish background. 

Time spent with teachers of similar grade levels facilitated collaboration (within schools, between schools and across the two districts).

Work time throughout the three days of workshops allowed teachers to leave, at the end of the pro-d day, with specific activities to immediately incorporate into their practice.

This was a very successful and very well-received initiative. We have plans to continue with this type of initiative in future years.

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