Communities of Practice - Overview

Communities of Practice - Overview
What is a Community of Practice?
Community of Practice is a self-selected and self-directed group of educators who share a common concern, interest, or passion. Communities of practice collaborate regularly with a focus on improving and sharing one’s teaching and learning practices and experiences with the goal to improve student achievement.
Is Is Not
  • Beyond the school community

  • Shared responsibiity

  • Active learning, sharing, and collaborating

  • Ongoing

  • Limited to a single school

  • Individual responsibility

  • Passive learning

  • Single  event

Click here (log-in required) for a quick overview of Communities of Practice in Regina Public Schools.


CofP 2018-2019
October 26 (pm-required), December 7 (pm-optional), March 22 (pm-required), and May 17 (pm-optional)

Community of Practice Reflections 

"...This year I participated in the EAL Community of Practice (CofP). We met four times, on various PD days. This CofP was open to all teachers with a focus on EAL teachers. I really enjoyed being a part of a CofP because I learned a lot about my colleagues and how they run their EAL programs. We discussed our best practices and valued resources. We encouraged each other and gave advice on issues in our EAL classrooms. On one of the CofPdays, we had a book circle, supported by SKTEAL and each attending teacher received “Reading Strategies” by Jennifer Serravallo. This is a great book that is ready to use and applicable to supporting EAL learners. I know that I will use it in my classroom. What I enjoyed most about the CofP was getting together with other EAL teachers, sharing knowledge and learning new things together. Sometimes you can feel really isolated in your EAL role and coming together for the CofP really helped me feel like I was a part of a network..."

Tracy Rempel 

"...The “Appy Hour” Community of Practice that I led and took part in this year focused on the use of technology in the classroom. The group was open for all teachers to participate, and as a result, consisted of young, experienced, and retired teachers as well as educators following online. The range of experience, age, and teaching styles allowed us to collaborate, learn from each other, and benefit from each of our strengths. It was a time where we shared new ideas and tools with each other in order to help students succeed in the classroom. It was a non-intimidating space for teachers to ask simple questions and learn how to use everyday technology tools, such as Pearson Portal, Google Classroom, and other literacy & numeracy apps and sites. My hope for the future is to make more teachers aware and encourage future participation in a Community of Practice so that they gain confidence, can learn from and collaborate with other professionals, and feel inspired to carry out new ideas and tools in the classroom..."

Amanda Brace

 “…Early in the year, I was talking with several people about how much we enjoyed visiting one another's classrooms and hearing about what different teachers were doing. That conversation sparked our Grade One Community of Practice, and our casual group was able to visit several different schools and take a peek at some of the amazing work that so many of our teachers across the system do every day. We have so much to learn from one another, and it's easy to forget that the best PD can be right across the street! We also had the opportunity to welcome Kira and to share information about new resources targeting our grade level. I really appreciated the flexibility and support offered by the board in organizing the CoP and hope to continue building our community next year…”

Amy Lawson

“…I have been immensely blessed to have had an opportunity to participate in and facilitate the Grade 1 Literacy and Numeracy CofP. This experience has expanded my network of colleagues and has allowed opportunity to visit other grade like classroom environments. These visits allowed me to learn from the great things that my colleagues in the system are doing in their classrooms. I learned about best teaching practices and have a wider variety of tools to pull from when I am teaching. I was able to bring back many valuable practices to my own common collaborations to share with the colleagues in my school. We were able to discuss topics that were relevant to us as grade 1 teachers. Questions were shared, pondered, and some were answered. The CofP allowed opportunity to share resources that we found to be successful in our teaching experiences. We were able to share resources based on the need at certain points throughout the school year. We created a Google Docs shared document where people can pull resources that were discussed and brought forward at any time that they needed. This made the acquisition of resources, normally a rather daunting task, more manageable for newer teachers to the grade. I will forever cherish my new network of teachers whom I have met in my CofP as they have all helped make my school year an enjoyable one…”

Cathy Truong

"...The Truth and Reconciliation Community of Practice focused on information and actions needed to implement the Calls to Action especially related to improving student achievement. Every participant contributed to the Community of Practice in their own way and from where they were at in their understanding. We learned from each other by asking questions and participating in discussions. It was a friendly and safe place. These discussions provided us with concrete ideas to implement, as well as gave us the opportunity to reflect on our own beliefs and practices in how we contribute to our classroom and school atmosphere..."

Jennifer Desjarlais

"...My involvement in Communities of Practice has been grounded in my belief that shared knowledge from a variety of different perspectives and levels of experience positively impacts students each and every day. It is important for me as an educator to surround myself with people who have the same commitment to improving their practice but who also allow me to look at teaching and the world differently through their diverse experiences. Our COfP community is linked through a shared focus on teaching and organizing outcomes with essential questions (based on the research of Wiggins/McTighe). These questions provide the perfect framework for helping students organize ideas, build connections between a variety of different subject areas, spark curiosity and inquiry and encourage supported points of view/opinions with big ideas and the world around them. Helping students learn to question answers rather than just answer questions is a key component of critical literacy and our learning community. I am very grateful for the ways the shared knowledge of my CofP indirectly contributes to my students’ achievements, changing perspectives and understanding each and every day..."

Corinne Toews

“…Communities of practice have been meaningful professional development opportunities for me. Through these opportunities, I have been challenged to work alongside colleagues who are passionate about the same issues/topics as I am. I appreciate the consistency as we work together in more detailed ways rather than in one-off sessions and the empowerment as we are able to direct our own work. The relationships I have developed in communities of practice have become incredibly valuable to me both professionally and personally…”

Tana Mitchell

"...Having helped plan, support, and facilitate the high school communities of practice it is obvious of the positive impacts that it has on fellow staff and colleagues. The CofP time has given teachers the opportunity to collaborate and connect in the same subject areas. CofP have empowered educators to take charge of their own learning and has given them the time to connect, gain new knowledge, and the opportunity to collaborate. It has not only been an engaging opportunity for educators, it has also been a time for educators to share, help and find ways to solve problems together as a collaborative group. This is huge value in a teacher's professional life..."

Krista Gates

"...Over the past while I have had the opportunity to work alongside several different Science Core Leaders across the division planning and implementing the Communities of Practice. I have really enjoyed the experience as both a Core Leader and Science Teacher. As a leader I have enjoyed developing PD opportunities that I believe were both beneficial and enjoyable for all involved. It has been awesome to connect with those that you have never really met before and get outside of the bubble of just your science team at your school. In the beginning collaboration was slow and there was a lack of willingness to jump on in and risk putting your ideas out there for others to benefit from. But as we started to become more comfortable with each other I noticed a change in our conversations and our participation in our professional development improved. I feel that with continual meetings and leadership from the Core Leaders around the division the science crew will continue to benefit and flourish from the Communities of Practice. Buy into the process and the process will work..."

Leona Stephan

"...I have had the pleasure of participating in and facilitating a series of Communities of Practice with Arts Educators during the past two years. One of the most memorable CofP sessions was in Spring of 2016 when we hosted three First Nations Artists. The session raised awareness of First Nations performing artists within our community and enriched our teaching practice. The session inspired me to share and learn more about First Nations cultural resources that are available to engage students in meaningful learning outcomes! After guest presentations, we had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in meaningful dialogue with our guests and with each other about subject specific First Nations learning outcomes! I appreciated the opportunity to discuss learning outcomes not only with my colleagues but also with our guest artists. Another memorable CofP moment occurred in Winter of 2016 when we met at First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) and participated in a tour, visited the special archives in the library where we were given the opportunity to see the original Treaty 8, and visited with Lionel Peyachew - Associate Professor, Indian Fine Arts. This session encouraged me to continue future collaboration with FNUC that are meaningful and engaging for both staff and students. I have also appreciated the opportunity to meet with Core Leaders from other schools and areas during CofP planning sessions. These meetings have provided me with greater insight into the professional learning needs in other schools and allowed us to work as a collaborative team to ensure that all voices are heard ensuring meaningful and relevant offerings.This experience has been very rewarding!"

Deidre Baird

"...Over the past 2 years I have had the opportunity to plan Communities of Practice with Core Leaders from across the division to create meaningful subject specific professional development. This has been a valued experience in my growth as an educational leader. Communities of Practice have given me a voice and an opportunity to speak to what I believe is important for Physical Educators and bring all of the high schools together to work towards a common goal; it allows us to share thoughts, suggestions and opinions while still working towards Regina Public’s division goals. One highlight has been First Nations games and resource sharing. This grassroots initiative has seen tremendous growth and success and I hope to continue being a part of this moving forward..."

Jason Janssen

"...The past two years have provided opportunities for teachers to share their areas of passion and motivation with colleagues. The community walks tours in November and May allowed participants to do a walking tour of community resources that many of the students and families of Regina access. We wanted teachers to add tools to their toolbox, but also to provide confidence for staff to have a face and a personal experience to attach to the agencies when making referrals. By visiting the YMCA or Salvation Army, teachers were better able to understand the lives of some of the students they teach. After the two walks, the feedback from both the agencies and those who participated was positive. The agency felt they were better able to show, rather than tell, all of the great supports and opportunities that they provide to the public. For the participants and leaders, it was an empowering and inspiring feeling when your colleagues support learning and the community..."

Mike Leier





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2017-18 Dates