Professional development is tricky. I want every teacher to WANT it. Really WANT it. But time is always hard to come by and priorities for a classroom are lengthy. As a teacher, I disliked making sub plans, found our district PD always wanting, didn’t appreciate my after work time being taken, etc. My personal professional development challenges went on and on.
But I loved learning (as a principal, still do). So I’d try to find some nugget of interest in our district PD. Aside: It’s extremely difficult to offer meaningful professional development to K-12 educators without CHOICE at the forefront. I’m proud that our district has moved in this direction.
Now as a site administrator, I don’t want subs on campus. Don’t get me wrong, we have an amazing roster of substitute teachers. But I want our amazing teaching staff doing their best work with students every day on our campus. It’s hard to cram in enough PD on our early release Wednesdays. And I do try my best to artfully, respectfully cram in quite a bit. Our district has embraced choice-based professional development, and it just keeps getting better. But there so much to discover, practice and learn.
For my part, aside from our Wednesday PD (about once a month), I’m going to spread more Googley Goodness by hosting a weekly after school session of sharing. The smartest person in the room is the room. And no one wants to be at the front of the room doing stand-and-deliver type look at me, I know more than you type PD. So how about throwing out a subject and inviting folks to come explore. #playdate lite, if you will. I might even riff off that eduawesome event as I title my weekly fun. And I am also a huge proponent of “one person at a time.” If the entire staff shows up, that’s incredible. But if one person sits with me and we brainstorm, plan and get excited about what we can do with students, that’s INCREDIBLE. INCREDIBLE.
So that’s my #GEGNorCal inspired plan to share for 2015. I’ll keep you all posted. And I definitely need to craft a catchy name. And logo. If I host it, they will come.
Here’s the other part. Lots of teachers LOVE learning. But the potential is so much greater than we take advantage of or put into practice. Time is the enemy it seems, but does it have to be? I want to inspire and support the best out of all our teachers. One at a time if need be.