Friday, November 2, 2012

Professionally Developed

PD...Professional Development..Continuous Learning...Any Where...Any Time...Any Place

These are all common terms for Staff inservice.  I will admit I have been to both productive and useless PD sessions.  As a teacher I rarely got anything out of PD.  I will admit one PD day in particular stands out in my memory.  I was in my seventh year teaching and the district brought in an individual from Louisiana.  I walked into the PD day very skeptical, I was expecting another wasted day and I simply wished administration would just give me more time to plan and work with my grade level teammates.  My skeptism did not last, within minutes the lady had my attention.  The focus of the PD was understanding the four areas all people can be categorized in.  The categories were Type A personalities (controlling, organized, anal), the second Socialist (people that are very social, relationship oriented), the third were Statisticians (people that are all about numbers, data, graphs, etc...), and the fourth were Non-Commitals (people that do not like confrontation, accommodate everyone, try to please people, and need affirmation).  We did an inventory and classified ourselves in certain areas.  The goal was to explain to us that our students also fall into a category.  It was another wake up call that all students learn differently.  What I remember is that she said, a group needs diversity, we must embrace our differences, these differences may cause conflict and frustration, but in the end it will also help us grow.  This was a valuable PD session for me. 

Professional Development began to change for me when I was hired as building principal.  Just two weeks on the job I was sent to Lincolnshire, Illinois for Professional Learning Communities training.  This was a multi-day event.  To this day I still remember the trip and the lessons I learned.  That PD changed me as an educator.

One of my goals as building principal was to open up avenues with Professional Development.  I began with a philosophy of encouraging teachers to attend conferences and I tried my best to support any way I could.  I noticed that District Professional Development often included grade level meetings, discussions, and revisiting common assessments.  A large part of me thought this was insufficient, but the teacher in me also believed this was and is valuable.

After my first year as principal I began to investigate Professional Development.  I started by attending a Summer Institute in Bay City, Michigan.  Then I began by listening and talking with my colleagues, most notably, Ms. Sue Haney, Mr. Mike Ykimoff, and Mr. Craig Raehtz.  I also began to look for resources online.  I networked with local principals and even collaborated with some principals across the State of Michigan.  This led me to investigate Twitter.  I was very suspicious, I thought it was just Facebook simplified.  As I created my Twitter account I began to follow fellow educators.  I followed teachers, principals, and superintendents.  What I quickly discovered was a Professional Learning Network or PLN.  I will be forever grateful to my local admin team, this was not getting rid of them, this was expanding my network and I was now able to Professionally Develop any day, any time, any where.

In fact it must be noted that the first "big" thing I discovered through my PLN was blogging and staff newsletters.  Jessica Johnson @PrincipalJ , Curt Rees @WiscPrincipal , Bill Powers @MrPowersCMS , and Todd Whitaker @ToddWhitaker were instrumental in modeling and sharing resources.  I still look to these individuals on a daily basis.  I now have an ever growing PLN, and I enjoy not only "tweeting" with my PLN but also sitting face to face with them.  Thank you Dan Spencer @runfardvs , Brad Wilson @dreambition , Sue Haney @susankhaney and Jason Herrington @jmherrinton5

Essentially my point is Professional Development is about opportunities, attitude, and what you put in to it.  Each week I attach articles and videos that could be valuable to you, I will never require you to read them, but for those of you that choose to, I hope you find new perspectives, helpful tips, and knowledge to help yourself grow.  

A wise man once told me, "If you're not moving forward, you're falling behind."  I hope you find value in Professional Development, and I encourage you to learn any time and any where.

Things to take note of:

*  PTO meeting Monday at 7pm
*  TEAM meeting Tuesday morning
*  Report Cards completed next week
*  Fire Drill next week
*  TAT on Wednesday with KDG & 5th grade

If you're looking for a Professional Learning Network these are good spots to find support:

1) Twitter
2) Pinterest
3) YouTube for Educators
4) REMC (Michigan site)
5) Edutopia
6) Edudemic
7) Teachers pay Teachers
10) JCEA or MEA

Next Week at a Glance:

Monday, November 5th:  IEP in Middle School 8:30am
Monday, November 5th:  7pm PTO Meeting
Tuesday, November 6th:  TEAM meeting (schedule will be out Monday morning)
Tuesday, November 6th:  Warner String Team 4pm-5pm
Wednesday, November 7th:  K-2 Assembly at 8:45am
Thursday, November 8th:  After School Art Club 3:45-5:15pm

Great Things Noticed or Heard:

*  The consensus is Halloween should be on a Friday or Saturday...students were dragging this past Thursday.
*  Got a kick out of Seth W. trying to pronounce "napkin".
*  4th grade book pumpkins were amazing!  Loved the creativity, imagination, and artwork.
*  Received a Halloween treat on Wednesday, the little girl licked her finders and then grabbed the brownie.  I simply smiled and said, "thank you".
*  Great costumes from many students, but I truly loved the adults dressing up!  Way to go Mrs. Oliver, Mrs. Holton and Mrs. Palmer!  Kudos to Mr. Lenhart, Mrs. Shearer and Mrs. Struck!  Bravo Miss Hinkley and Mrs. Gibbs!  Hooray Mrs. Moffitt, Mrs. Schaible, Mrs. Bunker and Mrs. Kline!  Superb Mrs. Delor and Mrs. Hurt!  WooHoo Mrs. Archer, Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Dault, Miss Bacon, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Chilcote!  Amazing Mrs. Nash and Mrs. Miller!  Lookin' Good Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Buratovich, Mrs. Walz, and Mrs. Trudell!  Boo to Mr. Gilpin...the kids told me I could do better.
*  Well done to teachers for surviving Halloween Parties.  I fully understand parties are a major stress.  I heard several wonderful comments.
*  Great idea to help expand vocabulary Miss Hinkley!  Nice Halloween touch.
*  Brody got to go home!  Dad's comment was, I've been waiting 71 days for this!  Tears of Joy!

Articles Worth Your Time:

Building Educators Interest in Social Media by Scott Rocco
Common Core: 7 Recommendations
Technology Changing How Students Learn (NYTimes)
Educate Innovators, Not Test Takers (shared by Dan Hickey)
Evernote for Collaboration (by The Nerdy Teacher, aka Nicholas Provenzano)
15 Free Learning sites You've Probably Never Heard Of
Ten Reasons People Resist Change

Videos Worth Your Time:

Video made to pump students up for taking a test.  Nice way to motivate. (3 min)

Mike and Mike in the Morning...with a little Gangnam Style! (1 min)

If you need a laugh this is for you! (7 min)

Power of One Teacher's vision (14 min)

Jenn Schaible sent this to me, worth your time! Thanks Jenn (3 min)

Thoughts and Prayers with Storm survivors~

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention Ben. Glad to have helped you along your way. Love your thoughts about making something of PD opportunities. I wrote the following on a similar topic a few weeks ago.