Today I had the privilege of bringing one of my professional development ideas to our staff. This summer I spent a lot of time searching for effective and beneficial professional development opportunities for our building. I read a lot about EdCamps and Unconferences, and ran across an interesting article about Personalized PD. The article discussed how the goal of Personalized PD is empowerment, and letting teachers decide what learning topics are relevant to them. I brought the idea up to my administrator, and was thrilled when he was willing to give Personalized PD a try! We decided to start Personalized PD this year, and provide teachers with an hour and a half once every six weeks. My hope is that if this goes well, the frequency will increase next year.
To get started, I set up a Personalized PD page on our MVPLC website, created goals and expectations, and located starting places and ideas for teachers. The website was ready for teachers as they came to our PD session, and they seemed a bit surprised that they were not entering a room for "one size fits all" PD. We had a variety of topics explored during the allotted time, and it was inspiring seeing the conversations teachers were having in person, on Twitter, and on our Padlet page. Overall, I think teachers enjoyed this PD, and I cannot wait for the next session to occur in October! Between Personalized PD, and our staff book study of Teach Like a Pirate, the 2014-2015 school year is off to an inspiring start!
Mix and Match, Let's Collaborate!
As I begin my new position as an Instructional Coach this week, I wanted a way for staff to visualize what my new role and responsibilities entail. You see, I'm moving from a Title I position where I co-taught math and ELA every day for the past three years. Co-teaching and collaboration was, and still is, one of my favorite parts of my job, but my new position requires a shift in thinking as I'll no longer be teaching students and instead focusing on teachers. This shift has to happen not only on my part, but also my colleagues, all of whom have seen my work as a teacher, and now are experiencing my change from teacher to coach. Over the summer I searched for Instructional Coaching resources, and found several menus that were in line what I hoped to convey to our staff. In the end, I found two that I really liked, took parts of those, and added some of my own information as well. Ultimately, I am pleased with the menu, and look forward to sharing it with staff over the next few days.
One of my main goals this summer was to develop a website I can use in my new position as an Instructional Coach. I still plan to use this website for my lesson resources, blog, and presentations, and hope to tweak the organization of it later this year. The MVPLC website was to be a place for my building staff and district colleagues to locate curriculum information, Instructional Coaching resources, as well as our professional development topics and documents. MVPLC is a fluid website, and will be added to throughout the year. I look forward to sharing this website with staff later this week.