Meaningful PD

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a group of teachers in my district planning professional development for technology integration into the classroom.  I’ve loved listening to them passionately explain the highs and lows of utilizing technology with their students.  Because I’ve been there.  I’ve never left.

Where I find passion is sharing my love for technology with fellow educators.  Heck, I’ll share it with anyone who’ll listen.  I’m constantly amazed at the myriad of tech tools and uses that appear on a daily basis on my Twitter feed.  Truth be told, it’s hard to keep up.  But I keep myself focused by making sure that I’m mastering just a few tools and tinkering with the rest.  😉

I cannot pinpoint the exact year that I started using technology with my students in a meaningful way…but I’ll never go back.  And now I see my role moving more into professional development.  I’ve been doing professional development workshops since 1998.  So I’ve been around the block a few times.  I think I have an idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to professional development…because I’ve been on both sides of the table.

As a participant, I want something that I can walk away with.  I don’t need to be “talked at”…I want my professional development to be meaningful and engaging.  I want it to be fluid and I want it differentiated.  I don’t think I’m asking for much.  It’s what our students expect of us on a daily basis, so I don’t think it’s a stretch to expect that from our own colleagues when it comes to presentations.

I think what I’m trying to say is that the teachers who attend PD need to be thought of with the same mindset as we would our students.  Respect their time, engage them, meet them where they are, scaffold the process…in other words, make the whole experience meaningful.

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