Thursday, January 20, 2011

Look out--PD coming!

Tonight's inaugural #isedchat addressed the question: "What does successful professional development look like at your school?"

I missed the chat--7pm with two little kids in the house is just not twitter chat friendly. So, I perused the thread tonight with a goal in mind. What should we do at school for our next scheduled PD time?

Periodically we have a half day for professional development at our school. I've been thinking about our upcoming day for a while now, and here's what I've come up with. This stems in part from the thinking that led to the "why are we teaching this stuff" post.

Now, what with being a fan of stealing, I mean researching, others' ideas, I went looking for someone who'd tried this and blogged about it. Bingo! Lyn Hilt, a K-6 principal in Pennsylvania who blogs at The Principal's Posts gave the teachers at her school time for self directed learning. Not a free day, but a day with purpose and accountability, and autonomy. Her description of how she organized the day inspired me.

Here's part of the email message I wrote to the other deans and the division director:

I've been thinking about this day. Here's what I'd like to propose:

Implementing a form of the Google 20% time. There's been a lot written
about this since Dan Pink mentioned it in Drive and his speech. We
could ask folks ahead of time what they needed to learn more about.
Some groups might naturally emerge. I would work to provide resources
for those who need them. We could also put together a "sit and get" for
those who insist. The big part is that 20% time still has some
accountability. Participants are supposed to DELIVER at the end of
their time. What would that delivery look like at Cannon? I am
thinking the delivery would be in small groups spread throughout campus,
with one of us in each group.

I suggested some reading on the concept of 20% time:

From Dan Pink:

One school leader's experience:

Let's see what they say!

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