Designing Your Personalized Professional Learning Experience - The SEED Independent Study

Raylene Olinger

Ensuring that teachers have access to personalized professional learning experiences that honor and support goals teachers set for themselves is near and dear to the hearts of our Innovation Coach team. Finding a way to do that in the Northwest BOCES which encompasses seven school districts, twenty-two schools, approximately 530 teachers, and over 7000 K-12 students is the root of the SEED project. Though our districts are diverse and teachers are numerous, there are factors that we all have in common.  Each year, teachers across the region participate in the first steps of the evaluation process in which a self-assessment is completed. This is an opportunity to consider the professional practices in the Colorado Evaluation rubric and to set goals which have a high likelihood of having an effect on the learning of students.

The second commonality which draws teachers together is the desire to have professional learning opportunities that take into consideration a teacher’s needs and experience as well as provide for a way to immediately apply what has been learned. We also understand that learning opportunities that are ongoing, in which teachers have an opportunity for coaching and support result in a higher likelihood of implementation and impact on students.   

The geographical isolation and busy schedules of our teachers make face-to-face professional learning challenging.  The SEED team has found that blended and online models can be useful in creating learning experiences for teachers. In order to provide an opportunity that is personalized to a teacher’s needs and goals, can be immediately applied to their context and is paired with coaching and support in an ongoing way we are piloting an independent study alternative. The SEED PAK Independent Study will allow educators to identify areas for improvement in their practice and to find support in meeting their professional goals with resources from an online resource bank (SEED PAK). Teachers will use the resources for new learning which will support them as they implement changes in their practice with the aid of an instructional coach.

For this fall only, because this opportunity is a pilot, a $100 stipend will be offered for successful completion of the independent study course.  

We hope you will consider how the SEED PAK Independent Study can support you to take your professional learning goals from ideas to implementation!


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