Learning Forward Academy Testimonies

See what Academy members say about the impact of the Academy on their problems of practice.

In addition, we now use norms, protocols, and a professional learning plan to monitor our progress toward our student and adult learning goals. More importantly, our professional learning takes place over time so that genuine adult learning can take place….no more ‘one and done’ professional development. By ‘going slow to go fast’, our faculty is beginning to embrace the concept of professional learning; they are beginning to envision the process as ongoing and not simply a checklist.

— Matt Schiebel

I grew in my knowledge, skill and application in three areas. First, I have increased my capability to facilitate others leaders’ capacity to understand the Standards for Professional Learning and move the Standards into practice. Second, I have revisited my notes and used the content from our sessions on change management and implementation of change in a many learning activities. Third, my greatest growth has been in the area of assessing the impact of professional learning. Revisiting this topic in multiple sessions during the Academy allowed me to sharpen my skills and deepen understanding. The inquiry-based learning model served me well.

— Michelle Bowman

Through the work of the Academy, I have developed a strong belief that professional learning is central to any type of improvement plan for a school or district. Everything from the time spent on purposeful, student results-driven, job-embedded professional learning to the importance of funding for professional learning has come from my work with the Learning Forward Academy. Prior to my work in the Academy, I saw good professional learning as multiple offerings with topics that would meet the needs of those in many different subject areas. Now I realize that the best professional learning is not just about one-time offerings, no matter how many diverse topics are offered.

— Leann Myers

The Learning Forward Academy is “access.” The Academy created opportunities to learn from research, practitioners, and organizations across the globe. The Academy provided the tools and “know how” to become architects of learning for adults and students and advocates for the quality of support needed to change practice. The Academy is part of a larger organization that works to empower educators to use that access to launch movements driven to improve student learning. Most importantly, that access never goes away. It’s always there.

— DeNelle West

Due to my LFA teammates, as well as other academy members and conference attendees, I have made connections and communicated with folks with whom I would have otherwise never made association. I have had phone calls, emails, and Skype sessions with others who have made an immediate impact on my day to day operations. Being able to work with a curriculum director from New York, professional developers from Arizona and Illinois, as well as well as an Asst. Super from Oregon has provided me both a depth and breadth of perspective that has been unparalleled.

— Andrew Maoury

Learning Forward Academy has been a transformational, system-changing professional learning opportunity for my colleagues and me and is truly changing the culture and focus in our district. The depth of job-embedded learning, networking with professionals across the world and spending quality time immersed in problem solving around real issues within our systems is something unique and rarely found in any other form.

— Joe McFarland

Effective professional learning is about ongoing opportunities within the work that focuses on student outcomes. As a school leader, I continue to work with teachers to develop individual professional learning plans to address areas of need. I believe that the difference following the work in the Academy is that I have been very intentional with teachers to paint a picture of professional learning as everything from book studies, to classroom observations, to collaborative planning, to evaluation post conferences as opportunities for professional learning.

— Leann Myers

For me, the Learning Forward Academy was a profound multi-layered learning experience. I generated shared knowledge and language while forming collegial partnerships and friendships that exist to this day and have continued to grow. I developed a more relevant understanding of the Standards for PL and related tools, and benefited from seeing effective PL modeled throughout the process. Looking back, Academy was really the jumping off point for me to engage more deeply with Learning Forward across the board. I also laughed – a lot!

— Juliet Correll