Saturday, March 19, 2016

#SOL16 Day 19 Is PD a 4 Letter Word?



Professional Development.... PD. Does it fill you with dread at the thought or send a shiver of joy? Something in between?

In March, Two Writing Teachers is focusing on PD in a mini blog series. In a couple of days, I will be posting about PD from the perspective of a classroom teacher. I'm focusing on the rights and responsibilities of teachers who are recipients of PD. 

I would love your ideas. If you post in the comments, please know I may quote you or share the idea in my upcoming post on March 21. You could even make this today's Slice if you are out of ideas! Please send me the link if you do that! 

-What was your best experience with PD and why?
-What was your worst PD experience and why?
- What are the ingredients or components to an effective PD session?
- What are some rights of classroom teachers when it comes to PD?
- What are some responsibilities when it comes to PD?
-Should all teachers experience the same PD or should it be differentiated based on where teachers are in their understanding and practice?

For me, my best PD experiences have hands-down always been what I self-selected. The Summer Institute with the Long Island Writing Project shines like a beacon of PD. I was there because I wanted to be, with other educators who wanted to be there, too. No negativity. It was in the summer, when a teacher could breathe. We read, wrote, shared, participated in discussions, taught lessons and were part of lessons. We published a piece of writing. There was so much DOING and all of it purposeful with buy in and ownership.

Within my school district, one of my favorite PD experiences was a Superintendent's Conference Day where you could sign up for the workshops you wanted to attend. Administrators, coaches, and certain teachers were invited to present. There were 3 workshop slots and you were able to go to what you found most relevant. Again, choice was a key reason why this was meaningful for me.

In my opinion, the ingredients of effective PD are:

-an enthusiastic, passionate, knowledgeable facilitator who has planned the session thoughtfully
-some element of choice
-time for me to share my current knowledge or understanding about a topic 
- resources shared
-movement and activity
-purpose or connection to my beliefs about teaching & learning
-respect given for my knowledge & experience
-next steps or support moving forward (not "one and done" where the topic is never brought up again!)



What about you? Please share your ideas on PD!