Sunday, June 2, 2013

Making the switch from professional development to professional growth...

 I have not always been completely successful with the professional training I have delivered to my staff over the years. Don't get me wrong, I put a lot of time and effort into them and I have great people helping me.  I have been encouraging my staff this year to take more ownership of their own professional growth by showing them how I use Twitter, Tweetdeck, FeedlyReader, Google+, Diigo and a host of modern tech tips to grow my own learning.  I have even at times flipped our staff meetings and professional development sessions by creating glogs, tutorials, and screencasts when appropriate, to use our time more efficiently when we get face to face. But, it seems we still quickly revert to "I come back from district meetings and then you sit and listen while I tell you what you should learn and do." Somehow, that is suppose to make my staff better? And there doesn't yet seem to be a lot of RV teachers taking advantage of modern social media networking to drive their own learning. Or maybe they are, but just aren't in my PLN or circles. Sometimes it seems that I get more professional development thanks and feedback from teachers and administrators who don't even work for or with me as I follow more and  educators on twitter or google plus.
    My teachers worked really hard this year and several of them took college credit classes along the way to improve themselves. During conversations with some of them, I realized that the topics that interested them most were the ones they were living day to day in their classrooms. Next year I will try to change from delivering professional development to professionally growing with them. I will let them choose some of the topics, times, and colleagues they think they should be working with. I will support them as they lead each other in their own professional growth. They have all grown so much in the last 3 years as we worked through one initiative after another and I will be excited to start another excellent year with them in the Fall.