After attending the Emerging Leaders Summit in Wellington during the past weekend, I got thinking about P.D. My approach has changed a fair bit over the past few years and I think this is worth sharing.
The old situation: I would wait for school instigated P.D opportunities which were irregular and didn’t always appeal to me specifically. I wasn’t at all proactive in my learning.
The result? I got bored and uninspired with teaching so picked up French lessons so I would be learning something.
The new situation: We have to be more proactive with our P.D. How can we expect our senior management to supply us with an endless stream of conferences and guest speakers tailored to our own individual needs on the school’s limited budget? An impossible task. Most of my P.D now comes from blogs I follow and a few select websites that have good resources on. As a start, perhaps have a look at the Committed Sardine blog, the VLN and the eLearning framework. The other thing I have got into recently is Twitter. When others have said that they get a fair bit of their P.D through Twitter I scoffed at the way people can get so carried away with such gimmicks. I’ve subsequently had to eat my words. As a P.D tool, this is well worth a look.
The result? I think I am much more of an inspired, motivated, analytical teacher who feels like she has her finger on the pulse with current education trends (to a greater extent anyway!) and who is constantly questioning and reflecting upon her practice.
The future: I’d really like it if the teachers at our school shared ideas and pondered questions more. I don’t think we utilise each other’s expertise sufficiently at the moment and therefore get ‘stuck’ in our own little insular teaching worlds. This makes it difficult to innovate as all new ideas are built on old ones… At the Emerging Leaders Summit two ideas were presented by Mark Osborne (D.P at Albany Senior High) that could help with this and I’m sure could work in other schools – World Cafe and Ignite Talks.