Great and Timely PD
I’m straight off of two days of professional development for Instructional Coaches with Ann Hoffman. She’s amazing and got me thinking about a ton of stuff which I’m not going to talk about right now because the ideas are just swirling too fast in my head to make any sense of just yet. It was highly engaging. This was countered by my dad, who was preparing for his own two-day workshop by going on a Pinterest binge of terrible meeting memes that he sent to me all. day. long.
In one of our partner activities my partners and I were talking about professional development and what we “wished” it looked like. Here’s what I wished PD could be like:
- Mandatory. The teacher who thinks they don’t need to improve or doesn’t need to learn anything new baffles me. The Patriots won the 2017 Superbowl. Did they just say, “Nah, I’m good” and then act annoyed and put out when the coach started to talk about improvement? Probably not.
- Relevant. I’ve been to some pretty crappy professional development. Making it relevant means knowing what the teachers’ immediate needs are and meeting those.
- More Frequent. Last year because of the fires, we had a day where students didn’t have to go to school, but we did. In my district we have two teacher-only days during the school year and one of those is the last day of the year. This fire day when everyone was at school was amazing. Teacher were everywhere. Meeting. Getting Stuff Done. Learning from each other. I can not see how more of that would negatively impact students.
- Followed-Up. Training is useless if there’s no follow up. Did it work? What needs to be tweaked? What’s the next step? This is so often left out because of time. This doesn’t have to be painful or another meeting. It could be just an intentional conversation, “Hey how’d that go?”
- Impactful. Whatever the training, the student impact should be clear.