The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is committed to providing professional development for it members in a variety of forms. Teachers are best able to determine what professional development they need to pursue as life-long learners and ETFO Book Clubs are designed for voluntary participation of interested members. As ETFO professional development programs and services continue to evolve to meet the challenging needs of educators and their students, the 2008-2009 season of offerings has been expanded to include book clubs with a focus on classroom management, differentiated instruction, and Kindergarten.
Professional book clubs provide an excellent opportunity for members to reflect on their classroom practice, enhance their professional knowledge, and engage in the professional learning that best meets their needs and the needs of their students.
A book club is a staff learning experience that gives educators an opportunity for professional networking, sharing, and reflection through an in-depth examination of ideas, concepts, research, and strategies presented in a professional resource.
The main goals of ETFO Book Clubs are:
When professional book club experiences are tied to the real work of teachers, and to authentic issues they are grappling with in their classrooms, teachers have a deeper understanding of their impact on classroom practice and student learning.
Professional book clubs provide an excellent opportunity for our members to enhance their professional knowledge and practice. Participants attend four two-hour sessions that focus on specific chapters of the various resources highlighted, consider strategies they can try in their classroom, and reflect on and share their experiences within a community of learners. As a facilitator, you will contribute to building leadership capacity within our locals in the area of professional development.
Grounding is an excellent inclusion activity for introductory meetings. It serves several purposes including:
Directions - Each person in round-robin fashion, speaks to these points:
A book club facilitator guides a group of participants through an interactive discussion of a selected title. The facilitator organizes the session and conducts the meetings. Group members can expect the facilitator to use open-ended questions, wait time, and paraphrasing to encourage participation. The facilitator also emphasizes the importance of keeping the discussion on track, focusing on one topic or task at a time. The person in this role is not an expert and should remain neutral allowing group members to share different perspectives. All group members are valued and encouraged to participate in their own way.
ETFO Book Clubs are offered in partnership between locals and the provincial office. Facilitator guides, such as this one, have been developed by members to support you as you facilitate this book club.
Robert Garmston. ‘Teacher Talk That Makes a Difference’ Educational Leadership, ASCD, April 1998 Garmston, R. & Wellman, B. ‘The Adaptive School: A Sourcebook for Developing Collaborative Groups’, Christopher-Gordon Publishers, 1999 Richardson, J. ‘Norms Put the ‘Golden Rule’ into Practice for Groups’, Tools for Schools, NSDC, August-September 1999 Easton, L.B. ‘Powerful Designs for Professional Learning’ NSDC, 2004 Richard G. Weaver & John D. Farrell. ‘Managers as Facilitators: A Practical Guide to Getting Work Done in a Changing Workplace’, McGraw Hill, 1999 Bennett J., Dawson R., & Torney. ‘Book Study Facilitator’s Guide for Teaching Student-Centred Mathematics.’ Pearson Education Canada, 2007 Wisconsin Staff Development Council – www.learningforward.org