When I decided to create and administer the surveys, I had a couple of different reasons for doing so: 1) I wanted to gather some data about instructional practices related to writing (because part of what I do as a Literacy Coach is to gather and analyse data to inform not only my practice, but also the practice of teachers across the district); and 2) I wanted to see how well teachers responded to an online survey of this nature.
I have yet to analyse the data that was generated from the surveys; however, when I do I intend to separate the printed copies of the surveys and separate them based on grade and school. At that point, I will spread them across a large table start to look for trends across the grades and schools in terms of instructional approaches to teaching writing. I am interested to find out if there are trends in what I see, such as whether or not teachers are using PAT related materials in PAT years and whether or not teachers are using PAT related materials in the "in-between" grades. I am also interested to see the extent to which Balanced Literacy plays into writing instruction at all levels.
I think that it is important to point out that individual teachers will not be judged according to what they are currently "doing" and "not doing" based on their survey responses. But based on how quickly people responded to the surveys, I get the sense that many of you were already trusting that your answers would not be interpreted that way. I am simply getting a sense of where we are at so that we can more effectively target the individual and collective needs of teachers and schools in regards to literacy practice. This can ultimately affect how and what we do on a district, school, and personal level in terms of professional development and PD days/time in the future.
The second purpose behind the survey was to see how quickly and how well teachers were able to respond to an online request of this nature. And, as I said previously, I was very happy with the quick response to the surveys by most teachers. That tells me that it wasn't a process that was taxing or overwhelming for teachers to go and do. Many teachers have told me personally that they access The Literacy Hub for different things, read my blog, and subsequently complete surveys. If this has been a simple process, then, I can continue to gather data using surveys on the web. That way I can continue to gather data relative to my job so that I can better meet your needs as teachers.
The one thing that we haven't experimented with yet, but I would like to consider for the future, is the completion of professional development through The Literacy Hub. Last year, as a vice principal in charge of PD, I was able to take my staff through a process where they were able to use a website much like The Literacy Hub as a platform to engage in online PD on an individual and school level. It proved to be a very fruitful experience and many of my teachers last year felt that it was the most effective, personalized, and related to their classroom practice PD that they had done their entire careers. Needless to say, that made me happy to hear; but ultimately I would like to be able to offer similar PD opportunities to staff here so that they feel like they are learning and growing in a meaningful way as teachers without the strain of having something else to do on top of the already heavy responsibility they have as teachers - and the obvious strain they already have on their professional and personal time.
For those of you that read my blog, and I know that there are at least a few of you who do, please feel free to comment on my posts and let me know how you felt about the online survey process, or the future prospect of engaging in PD online.