Week 4 (February 1-7) Professional Learning

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  • 20 Feb 2013 11:10 AM
    Reply # 1213265 on 1195745
    Tom Light
    I have been involved in many different professional development programs over the years.  I agree with Leinwald's characterization of effective PD programs, but would like to add that some of the less effective types of programs ("one shot" or short, focused presentations) can be effective for some purposes, such as starting a change processes or inspiring thinking.  For example, I had the privilege of attending a International Reading Association Conference and a presentation on literacy and the internet impacted my thinking about and practice of literacy instruction.  Another presentation I remember after many years was at a PRISMS conference in the 80's had impacted my teaching of science.

    Despite these few successes, most of the programs that have impacted my practice have been long-term, provided opportunities to practice ideas presented and collaborate with colleagues.  Tracey H described the opportunity she has this year, an opportunity that she and I shared last year, to do some co-teaching.  It was very powerful for me to be able to watch her planning and teaching, to get feedback from her about my lessons, and to have the opportunity to look at our student needs together. 
  • 12 Mar 2013 4:28 PM
    Reply # 1240944 on 1195745
    Michele Mailhot

    Far too often in my role here at the Department of Education I am asked to come to a school and deliver PD in as little as a few hours to as long as a full day.


    Either way this seems to be the one-shot deal approach that we all know does not lend itself to real change! With this in mind I try to engage the participants in relevant activities that can be further developed and worked on once I leave.


    This is a real struggle as time is always so very limited for teachers to do the important work that must be done!

  • 26 Mar 2013 10:33 PM
    Reply # 1252528 on 1195745
    Maureen Brown
    Professional development in my district has centered around the proficiency based, or standards based education. The model that was introduced as something to frame our work upon unintentionally became the "bible"...and people were afraid to deviate. We saw that instruction has taken a back seat to S.O.P, Parking lots, matrices and "teacher pace." This year our administration has worked to bring "sound instruction" back to the forefront - we have one of our staff introduce two strategies with demonstration of how they implemented it. We attempt to use one of those strategies and then meet in small groups to discuss what we did and to share the outcome. This has been great as the groups are random and we get to talk and share with people that we may not usually talk with. 

    The idea of in house professional development is appealing because those presenting know the constraints, frustrations, and celebrations of the faculty. Although listening to "formal presentations" by hired guns can be interesting, inspiring, and thought provoking it is a breath of fresh air to work in house on something that we have a great deal of control over. 

    Professional development used to mean workshops, courses, hired guns, and administration direction. Today we have the luxury of computer courses by Marzano, Annenberg, and others, we can dine and discuss, we can do independent studies, webinars that we can watch live or as an archive, and also the traditional courses etc. 

    I think that I am the Math TLC in my building and as I read the description in the text I was struck by how similar it is to what I have been attempting to build and yet how far I have to reach to attain the best parts of the description....perhaps my own Pro Dev for the upcoming summer!
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