As a coach, part of my responsibility is to provide professional development to my teachers. Due to scheduling issues and other unforeseen circumstances my PD time has been consistently cut over the course of the school year. The conversations at school have centered around thinking ahead to next year and I was thinking how I could solve this problem. My solution became WORKSHOP WEDNESDAYS.
I am fortunate to be in a middle school where my teachers have TEAM time and also individual plan time. I decided 2 Wednesdays a month during team time I would offer a workshop and let the teachers know the topic a few days ahead. Attendance is completely voluntary. In my past job, I did weekly mandatory PD and learned to love it. I thrive on professional conversation and truly enjoy it when it is with the people I work with everyday.
This week’s topic was Standards and Objectives. I work with a lot of veteran teachers so this information was review but it is nice to get a refresher and to also have action based conversation on what is going well, what the struggles are and then what next steps are. I have found that someone sharing an idea can jump start a teacher and lead to AH HA moments.
I started with a Braindrainer – as I always do: you have to defocus to refocus.
The braindrainer was a short teach like a champion video and then a cartoon.
The trends chart was next: what the teachers already do well with objectives and what the struggles are in reference to objectives. We briefly talked about next steps to use while moving forward based on this information.
I always include a slide about what I am reading. I feel that if you want the students to read you must share your own reading life. If I want teachers to do it, I need to model for them just like I would do with students. If you don’t read books, then it can be articles you read, websites, journals, etc. They just need to see that you are reading. I talk about e readers and “real” books as well.
Of course, I had a clear objective for the teachers and what the evidence would be of their learning after the workshop was over. I always have research and data. Then I had a model lesson and some student work from students in my building. It was even mentioned in one session that I drop Marzano’s name…a lot! I have the tendency to drop researcher names like I truly know them – many I have actually met, but I don’t text them!
I always talk about CRITICAL ATTRIBUTES as well – those things that if you do nothing else MUST DO. There are usually about 3 of them for each session.
Handouts included the exit ticket, examples pages for the modeled lesson, and a handout with the 4 M’s written out.
The conversation was fantastic and I am hopeful for great things moving forward. My plan was to do these workshops bi-monthly, but the emails have already started to come in for weekly.
Today is one of those days I love my job!