This blog post was written by Kathy Sturges. Kathy is a FIP Specialist for the Southwest Region, a part of a regional support system available to help your LEA advance the use of formative instructional practices.
Richard Allen Schools is on a mission to "eye" FIP in every classroom and they are well on their way!
This year, as part of the FIP Implementation Plan, the Richard Allen Schools in Dayton and Hamilton, OH identified a core team to deepen their learning. This professional learning community (PLC) identified specific learning targets for themselves. They devote personal learning time, between weekly FIP team meetings, to deepen their understanding of FIP content. They utilize the resources on the FIP Your School Ohio website, including the FIP learning modules, videos, file room and the blog to differentiate their personal learning goals.
During the three hour weekly FIP team meetings, they spend time synthesizing the collective learning and considering ways to support colleagues in the use of FIP. In an effort to move away from a compliance approach to professional learning and towards a true formative learning system, the PLC thought they could better encourage involvement by spotlighting classrooms where evidence of FIP was seen.
A highly creative and artistic FIP team member created the “FIP slip” to visibly mark the classrooms where FIP was spotted. During their daily work, FIP team members look and listen for evidence of those practices being implemented in classrooms throughout the schools. “Eyeing FIP” slips are placed just outside classrooms where FIP is noticed. The staff love being recognized and some have even become competitive about getting “eyed.”
In the past, teachers were required to engage in the FIP Foundation modules with reflective conversations occurring during wavier day activities. This particular mode of implementation showed little change in practice however. But, when actual examples of FIP are recognized, teachers have begun to show more confidence in their practices and have been more willing to share their FIP success stories with others.
The FIP team continues to meet weekly and frames their work around: confirming their personal learning; confirming their practice; and confirming their commitment to grow FIP throughout the Richard Allen Schools.
The burning question is, who will be “eyed” next?