During my five years in my district, I have found myself as a presenter numerous times for our district’s Edcamps and Professional Learning Days. As a presenter, I have attempted to provide the most valuable professional learning sessions as possible. After reading, Teaching the Teachers Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability by Gulamhussein (2013), I find myself wondering if any of the teachers that came to my sessions actually implemented what they had learned? I did not provide any additional support during implementation; that is one of the keys to effective professional learning. I hope that none of the teachers felt like this…
While this may seem unrealistic, do we really believe that teachers are learning when it is in the sit and get method of professional development?
As my teaching career continues, my ‘why’ has never really changed. I believe in my students and their ability to learn no matter what the obstacles are. I am reminded by Gulamhussein (2013) though, that we are always asking how students learn, but never about how teachers learn. Why is that? We must realize the similarities between the learning of students and teachers. “…just like students, teachers learn better when they are able to actively participate and make sense of the information being presented”. Teachers are required to use new and innovative ways to teach their students, but we must remember that those new strategies may take up to 50 hours to implement and use correctly (French, 1997). Changing to a go & show format of professional learning is going to be a process; just as teachers try to change the way they engage and innovate with their students.
I am always curious what changes can be applied to my classroom that may help my students exceed the expectations that they had for themselves. The change to a new and improved professional learning model also creates that same curious feeling. I want to see how much teachers, including myself, can accomplish in our classrooms by learning on our own terms.
I created my presentation in Google Slides and will present this to my Assistant Superintendent and her team to show how we can take the next step to a true professional learning model. I will explain how that allows teachers to choose based on what they need for their classroom and students. I have recorded my video (above) using Screencastify so anyone that watches it will get the same experience as they would if they were in the original audience.
The creation of my professional learning presentation was very frustrating. I considered a few options including Adobe Spark, Sway and Google Slides. I even started using the first two before scrapping them and going back to Google Slides (above) to allow for simplistic design not decoration as Duarte (2009) states in her Five Rules for presentations video. I know that in the past I have gone way overboard with the amount of information on each slide and it was a goal of mine to scale that back. I used Screencastify (below) to create a video of my presentation so it can be viewed live or on demand. All of my images in my presentation were courtesy of Google Slides, free image search or Bitmoji. I look forward to seeing the reactions of my audience when I present this new and innovative professional learning initiative.
Duarte, N. (2009, December 16). Duarte design’s five rules for presentations [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/hT9GGmundag
Faculty professional development clips funny (2015, April 27). Retrieved from https://youtu.be/JZQey8ChJVU
Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the teachers effective professional development in an era of high stakes accountability. Center for Public Education. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/ system/files/2013-176_ProfessionalDevelopment.pdf
Credit: Screencastify, Bitmoji, Free images in Google Slides