Wednesdays are always early release for students. We use the time for collaboration, professional development, and an occasional staff meeting. Today was a good day.
We got together for about 30 minutes to go over Remind101 which we’ll be using as a staff for emergency purposes and review a Student Study Team flow chart to clarify the process. That’s not the exciting part, although it was important information.
Next came two 45 minute blocks of PD. It’s all about choice, conversation and real priorities of our school and teachers. The first block had three options –Chromebooks 101 hosted by Leslie, a Daily 5 conversation hosted by Julia and Renaissance Place reports with me. Our second block had two option–Accelerated Math update with Kirsten or Lexia with me.
“I want to go to all of them.”.
“I just can’t decide!”
“Will we repeat these options?”
I think all of these remarks were good news even before the afternoon began.
The informal feedback post-PD was equal. Teachers were tired, motivated and chatting excitedly as each session wrapped up.
Key points to remember for future PD success:
1. Choice is critical
2. Invite teachers to host a conversation rather than be an expert
3. Stick to goals and initiatives of our school and teachers
4. Just the right length of time
5. Collect feedback
One and three are closely connected. No one wants PD out of left field. But choice is critical. We aren’t cookie cutter educators and our needs do not stay in sync, but school-wide goals are in sync. Some teachers are obvious experts in various areas, but it’s too intimidating to ‘teach’ your colleagues. A conversation is easy. And the expertise in the room bubbles to the surface anyway. Everyone benefits. The length of time seems to be 45 minutes for us. 30 is too rushed and an hour is too long. 45 minutes with a 15 minute passing period allows for run over, practice time and plenty of conversation.
The feedback part is a moving target for me. Do I want a number? Lexis Reading was rated 8 out of 10. Do I want narrative? Chromebooks 101 was helpful and inspiring, although I may need to practice a lot more. Do I want next steps? Now I plan to implement Daily 5 during math also.
I’m just not sure. Probably a bit of each of those.
Even though quality PD remains a conundrum, I am very excited about today’s sessions and the potential for future Wednesday PD.