I saw a meme in a twitter chat a few months back, which I had never seen/heard before. It referred to professional development as "#SeaGull PD". Interesting outlook on required PD. I do not have all the answers. Here are some resources that you may find useful.
It's Spring- which means that Edcamp season is upon us. I spent the day at EdCampBoston on Saturday. What I came away with, as usual, was a day of learning, making my own choices. If I couldn't find someone to learn from in the group of 200 educators who gave up a Saturday to share and learn, it was my problem. However, many times PD selection is not something I feel like I have any control over. One of the sessions at #edcampBos was led by Dan Callahan, entitled: Meetings Don't Have to Suck. Here's thelink to the collaborative notes. If you're wondering what else went on- Here's thelink to the spreadsheet with all the notes taken.
With the recent ESSA requirements taking effect over the last year or so, I thought that perhaps this was the time. A quote from EdSurge a year ago: "The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) establishes a new, more rigorous definition of PD that incorporates many of the ideas above. High quality sustained PD as defined in this recent report should “take place over an extended period; longer than one day or a one-time workshop.” It should also incorporate data on both teacher and student needs—that is, it should be data-driven. I haven't seen any real changes, but perhaps I am impatient; these things take time.
Steve Dembo delivered a session about PD called "Fear the Sitting Dead"
Luckily was shared on YouTube. Dembo served for ten years as Discovery Education’s Director of Learning Communities and led their Innovation and Strategy team. To learn more about Steve and his work, click here.
Vicki Davis recently did a nice podcast about rethinking PD. You can listen to it here, or check out the post on her site. Vicki interviewed Jarod Bormann, author of Professionally Driven: Empower Every Educator To Redefine PD who talked about designing PD that works and interests teachers.
MOOCs and Books
Will Richardson, author of Why School?, has teamed up with Bruce Dixon to create Change School. Here's the blurb: "An inquiry-driven, interactive experience that will push your thinking and your practice, and leave you with a unique plan to move your school forward." You can spend 8 weeks learning with your cohort and come out with your own personal playbook of how you can effect change in your school.
EdCamps are generally my PD of choice. Here in New England we are lucky to have a lot of Edcamps to choose from, all within a few hours drive.
Sat, 03/24/2018 - Edcamp BPS Boston Massachusetts
Thu, 03/29/2018 - JPS Edcamp Johnston Rhode Island
Sat, 04/14/2018 - Edcamp Vermont Winooski, VT
Sat, 04/28/2018 - EdcampWMASS Huntington Massachusetts GATEWAY!
Sat 05/05/2018- Edcamp Access, Burlington, MA
Sat 08/10/2018- Edcamp CT, Simsbury, CT
Sat, 09/29/2018 - Edcamp Grafton Grafton Massachusetts
There will be an Edcamp down on Cape Cod, one in Malden, MA, as well as Southern NH and more...
Regardless of the professional development choices you make as an educator, they should be choices that you have some control over, that enhance your teaching. There's a reason it's called "professional" development. Teachers need more autonomy and more engaging choices.