Sunday, 29 September 2013

Rethinking Staff PD #savmp

“…And truth be told, teachers should be responsible for their own PD now. Kids wouldn’t wait for a blogging workshop. Adults shouldn’t either.” Will Richardson

This week, George has two questions for us

1. What are some of the ways that you create meaningful staff professional development?

2. What have you found to be the most beneficial PD experiences that lead to better learning in the classroom?

Great questions.  This is something I care deeply about.  I am in the middle of reading Intentional Interruption by Stephen Katz.  I know he would agree with Will Richardson's quote above.  I believe strongly that teachers need to be in charge of their own PD and their own meetings.

We have been working on this for years now.  Teachers working in grade-based teams set their own learning goals for inquiry schedule their own meeting times, record their evidence and eventually reach conclusions based on their data.  We work with two other schools and have for over three years.  The best thing about all of this is that teachers are the ones in charge of the learning.  As principals, we are facilitators.  We do not tell the teachers what to investigate.

Katz writes that true learning happens when there is a change in behaviour.  I believe that teaching practice is changing in our three schools, therefore this is true learning and good PD.  We are committed to this process and at this point in my career, I can't see any other way that teacher PD can happen.

When it comes to staff meetings, I leave the agenda open - any staff member can add items that will then be discussed at the meeting.  We do this by using Google Drive.  I am now thinking of adding Today's Meet so that there can be back channel discussions during the meeting.

This leads me to Will Richardson - he spoke to us at our last conference.  I tweeted the entire time because I think he has so much to say about innovation and self-directed PD.  You can follow him at 

His talk was very exciting - I now need to look for ways to bring some of his ideas into the PD that we do in the school!  What great innovative ideas for the future of education.

I have added some of the key tweets here:

1 comment:

  1. Paul,

    Great posting. I love, LOVE that quote by Will Richardson. As a matter of fact, I used it in my Cheetah Chat (Monday Memo) last week. It is so critical that we all own our professional development. AND, your school and its partner school seem to working through this quite well. I am not certain our school district is where yours is in this process of creating learning goals for inquiry and evaluating the data. We are getting there.

    I love your idea about using TodaysMeet. When I visited the schools in Texas last week, they had students using Todays Meet as a Back Channel. They were responding to questions posted by the teacher, questions posted by each other, and highlighting items related to the learning goal for the day and doing all of this during their independent reading time. It was a beautiful thing. :O)

    Thanks for being part of my Personal Learning Network.