Monday, April 21, 2014

This PD Video Triggered Flashbacks of My Own PD Nightmares

This mind-numbing video of professional development from Chicago has been making the rounds recently, and for me it brought back a flood of memories of awful PD my colleagues and I endured. Usually the least effective workshops were created and run internally, but that didn't necessarily mean external "experts" were much better.

In this case, at least the expert is modeling the methods they're peddling (which would be fine if such methods were any good to begin with). I can remember several examples where new methods or technology were simply talked about, looked at and then we were left to find out how to apply them to our classrooms on our own. The resources from that kind of PD ended up stuffed into the back of a closet, never to be heard from again.

Unfortunately, this is an example of why teachers are so disengaged from PD. When I would seek out relevant PD on my own, I was usually told that I couldn't take any professional days for them. Then the days that were built into the schedule were full of drivel like this. I would laugh when an administrator would try to teach us to be more engaging and to use exciting new methods by lecturing to us off of a PowerPoint for half a day. The absurdity of it all!

Seek out your own PD and take the time you need to dive into it, if you can. If not, take advantage of what's increasingly available online (often for free) and find a way to fit it around whatever new acronym your school has chosen to follow this year. Your teaching will be better off because of it.