I was having coffee the other day with a high school math teacher and a "civilian" friend. Joe and I were lamenting our most recent professional development experiences.
You've been there, too: spending hours sitting and watching a PowerPoint presentation but never really getting to do anything. Nothing really learned, and certainly nothing gained. Our friend, being in business, couldn't believe that, especially in education, professional development could go so terribly awry.
And then I showed him this recent viral video about a professional development session for Chicago teachers being, in a word, infantilized by an educational consultant. He was dumbfounded. Joe and I weren't. While we'd never endured something as humiliating as our Chicago counterparts had, we had, mostly, experienced less-than-professional development.
Professional development needs to be better. It needs to be more about development. And it certainly needs to be more professional. Blogger A.J. Juliani, a K-12 Technology Staff Developer, believes that PD "has to start with a quick win," and a quick win is something that will help teachers accomplish the following:
As Juliani states, these three items provide a win for teachers and students. As for the quick part, teachers should be able to accomplish the above during one professional development session.
He's right. Something productive should come from a workshop.
I'm looking forward to an edcamp I'll be attending in May. As I've discussed in a previous post, edcamps are UNconferences where teachers create the content and collaboration among teachers drives the process. They're gaining in popularity--mostly because they work.
And because they provide a "quick win" at the end of the day.
And because they put the professionals in charge of their own development.
Edcamps are just one way to remodel professional development. What is something you've experienced that's worked for you?
image courtesy of Can't Scare A Teacher
Educational consultant + #pedtech coach in Cleveland, Ohio sharing innovative technology ideas for educators.