Last week, I had the chance to present a session on professional development at the Techspo Conference in New Jersey.
At the beginning of the session, I shared a brief Google Form with the attendees and asked what challenges their school or district face with regards to professional development.
Some of the answers are below:
- Scheduling relevant topics for outlier staff (Related Arts, paraprofessional, non-classroom certificated staff)
- Staff isn’t focused or they choose not to buy in.
- Differentiating to meet more specific needs of teachers
- Very traditional view that PD is something that can only occur on a PD day on district time
- Not consulting with staff about pd needs. Out dated training.
- Finding the time for have more in-person workshops that allow for deep dives into topics.
- Differentiation, teacher engagement
As you can see, some of the common themes were finding time for PD, as well as getting educators to engage in PD.
During our presentation, we shared several strategies for creating a positive professional development culture in our schools, building bite-sized chunks of PD into our regular schedule, and trying to engage our colleagues in a culture of continuous learning.
Sneaking in little morsels of PD can help motivate colleagues and create an ever important culture of learning.
Utilize the opportunities where colleagues may not even realize they are learning something:
- CopierPD. Captivate and engage a colleague as they patiently wait for their copiers. Thanks to Amy Storer for sharing. Check it out here.
- PottyPD. This is also another area where you have a captive audience. Check out Tara Martin’s blog post about the idea here.
- A PD Challenge. Gamify PD and incentivize colleagues to take on some new professional learning challenges. Find out more here.
- PD-Mail. Once a week, send a quick email with a PD tip, trick, or resource. Keep it simple and short, and CONSISTENT. Help colleagues learn something easy to implement in their classroom.
What other strategies do you utilize to embed professional development into your schedule? Share your ideas and strategies at #4OCF on Twitter.
For more PD ideas, resources, and strategies, pick up a copy of The Four O’Clock Faculty: A ROGUE Guide to Revolutionizing Professional Development or ROGUE Leader: Make the Rules, Inspire Others, and Take Control of Your Own Professional Development Destiny.