Friday, November 20, 2015


Continuing with the broad goal setting of our professional development, I made a chart yesterday to organize my thoughts and ideas about summer learning opportunities.

Column 1: What should we STOP doing?

Column 2: What should we START doing?

Column 3: What should we CONTINUE doing?

Here are my thoughts so far:

Column 1: STOP doing

  • Technology topics
  • Face to face technical training (too individualized)
  • Training
  • Awarding credits by hours completed
I consider the large group face-to-face PD on specific technical topics and how it is really focused on the individual in the room instead of the group as a whole. Each person is learning at their own pace individually with little time for group sharing. Flipping technical training to video on-demand can give everyone their learning at their own pace and then use the group setting for testing out what they learned by incorporating into a lesson for peer feedback. 

Column 2: START doing

  • Peer coaching
  • Group collaboration
  • Facilitating
  • Awarding credit by outcome
Perhaps using a peer coaching cycle where groups of teachers observe a lesson taught by a teacher, then provide feedback for improvement, and then teach again with additional feedback and reflection. Facilitating a peer coaching group distributes the control of the learning back to the group itself rather than the trainer. Allowing teachers to keep documentation of lessons to use for T-TESS evaluations could assist with multiple dimensions for proficiency and above. 

Column 3: CONTINUE doing

  • Online task oriented technical training (individual)
  • Online task oriented collaboration (group)
  • Encouraging idea sharing and group research
  • Purpose & goal driven professional development
I think we will always need to provide technical training for individualized learning but it must be video blended with example documents. We had tremendous success last year with Amazing Race and group learning and sharing online so that will continue. I want to see us look into Action Research and taking the time to discover current problems and spend time researching effective actionable items to solve them as a group. And finally, our professional development must be grounded with purpose and goals. Each offering must have a measurable goal instead of simply making a memo or state-mandated requirement into a training opportunity. Tie it into the district goals, district improvement planning, and campus improvement planning if possible.