Recently, I was talking with someone who isn’t an educator and she stopped me during one of my stories and asked what PD was? In the world of education, Professional Development is such an integral part of our school year, that we sometimes forget that other professions may not have ongoing training. My conversation was about how often I hear people say that the PD they receive is not relevant to what they need. Let’s face it, teachers have different areas of focus, different levels of experience, different strengths and weakness, and also different passions. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that district or school PD will meet the needs of all educators. That’s why I’m a strong proponent of taking control of one’s own education and professional development. Below are some ways to “own your PD!”
Twitter: This is the quickest and easiest way to develop professionally. Yes, you can use it to post the great things your students are doing, but it’s also a wonderful way to connect with other educators from around the world and gain ideas and inspiration for your own classroom. It’s a wonderful cycle of connecting, learning, and sharing that makes everyone better…and it’s free!!
Blogging: Blogging is a powerful tool to help reflect on beliefs, share successes and failures, and explore new learning. It becomes even more powerful when we connect with others and read one another’s posts. It can be validating to hear that others have had the same struggles and inspiring to hear about the successes and ideas of others…and it’s free!
ED Camp: This is something that really needs to be experienced to be understood. In a nutshell, ED Camps are the opposite of a traditional conference. The participants choose what is discussed and focused on and everyone’s expertise is showcased (if they wish). Participants list topics on a board at the beginning of the day and whether they would feel comfortable sharing out. Participants then simply attend the sessions they are interested in. If a session is not what you expected or needed, you simply walk into a new session. The sessions are free flowing, interactive, and self-selected…and most ED Camps are free!
TED Talks: These popular videos that promote the ideas of “Technology, Entertainment, and Design” are easily accessible on YouTube and cover topics from the power of positivity, to brain research, to building relationships. TED Talks are short and sweet with high impact and exploring almost every topic an educator could wish….and it’s free!
Reading: Whether it’s an article, a blog post, or a book, educational reading is a surefire way to expand your thinking, challenge your beliefs, and inspire your heart. The more reading you do, the more you can discuss with others and share resources. I’ve always liked the idea of a professional book exchange area for teachers in schools. While the books in my office are always available to borrow, I think it may be time to start a teacher library. More to come on that…..and that format is very inexpensive!
Conferences: As much as I love connecting with my online Professional Learning Network (PLN), I prefer meeting with people in person. I love to hear the stories from people as I look them in the face and see their expressions. I love the energy in the room when educators from all over the state or country are present. Conferences can be an expensive form of PD, but the experiences and relationships that develop can be life-changing!
We often talk about the importance of “Voice and Choice” for our students in the classroom. They are also important for Educators when it comes to PD. District and Building PD will always be a part of our experience as educators, but make sure that it is the basement and not the ceiling of your professional learning. Technology has made connecting with others easier than ever. That combined with a passion to learn and grow will help you to own your PD and take charge of your learning!
“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for by ardor and diligence.” – Abigail Adams
- Monday, October 29: Student of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM
- Tuesday, October 30: Achievement Team (Trantham) 8:15 AM, REED (Stromberg) 2:35 PM
- Wednesday, October 31: Halloween Costume Parade Grades 1-4 at 3:15 PM
- Thursday, November 1: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM
- Friday, November 2: Staff Celebration 4:30 PM – ???
- Monday, November 5: Celebrate Monday 9:05 AM
- Tuesday, November 6: Professional Development Day (No Students)
- Wednesday, November 7: Furniture Committee 8:15 AM
- Thursday, November 8: Staff Meeting with Special Guest Speaker 8:05 AM, Barnes & Noble Book Fair 6:00-8:00 PM