This weekend, I had the opportunity to lead a session on Innovative and Effective PD on a Zoom meeting during Edcamp LEAD. Approximately 25 people showed up to talk about professional development.
I opened the session with a simple question. What’s working or not working right now? The right now portion of the question alluded to all of the other chaos that educators are dealing with currently: the health and safety requirements, the attempt to instruct in a virtual and/or setting, the struggle to connect with students and engage them in learning.
Much of the conversation surrounded the fact that educators right now are overwhelmed, and the last thing we need to do is add something else to their plates. Maribeth Edmunds, a school Principal from New Jersey suggested that we reframe the discussion around all of the informal PD opportunities that exist.
I agree wholeheartedly. The best PD happening right now are the informal conversations, the sharing and collaboration among colleagues, the mini-lessons that take place from one teacher to another. “Have you tried this website? Let me show you how it works.”
We can’t add anything else to teachers’ plates right now. What we can do is encourage informal growth opportunities. Have daily discussions. Share and collaborate. If you find something that’s working for you, tell a colleague.
It’s the one way that we can continue to grow as learners right now, even when professional learning is not at the top of our priority list.
Keep learning everyone! Keep sharing! Keep working to make schools better!