I’ve frequently said that my on-site professional development experiences are … not too productive … which is why my online professional development experiences are critical to my continued professional growth.
I’m staring down the barrel of a district-wide institute day tomorrow for English teachers from all five of our district’s high schools. Although I admire many of the teachers from those buildings, these district-wide institute days have a reputation for being … again, not too productive. In fact, our union president specifically asked the membership to not call in sick or request personal leave on these days, which tends to happen a lot. I think that says something about how these days are perceived or experienced.
But the name of this blog is What’s Not Wrong, so I’m here to say that I’m going to focus on the positive tomorrow and try as hard as possible to find and learn about good ideas and useful approaches that I can roll out for the benefit of my students.
So, what exactly am I looking for tomorrow? I’m lucky in that one of my teaching heroes is also my friend: Jim Burke. At the 2009 NCTE convention in Philadelphia, Jim uttered this pearl of wisdom: “Professional development should be sustained, coherent, and effective. When it isn’t, teachers need alternatives.” That statement has been pinging around my brain today as I think about tomorrow and has led me this resolution: Tomorrow I’ll be looking for ways that the professional development being delivered to us is sustained, coherent, and effective, and I’ll do my best to contribute to those ends. Here is the agenda:
When it’s over, I’ll add some reflections here as a follow-up post.
Thanks for reading this. I realize that in some ways it’s just a pep talk to myself.