As an Instructional Coach one of the favorite things that I do is plan professional development. However, it also produces such great anxiety because we all know how most of our colleagues feel about sitting through another round of professional development. Professional development shouldn’t feel like something that is done to you…it should be done with you. I realized that there are some great posts by those that deliver professional development and I wanted to round them up here.
This means having a skill set that allows you to adapt and customize as needed to help the children grow mathematically, not to follow some prescription as though we’re trying to cure a cold.
My goal is that through experiencing math this way, teachers will see a benefit to this way of learning–that when we have the experience of seeing why a formula works or how it works, we have a different experience, which leads to a different type of understanding.
When are we going to realize that over the past few years teachers have been making efforts to change their classroom instruction from students “sitting and getting” to students actively engaging in the mathematics?
So instead of spending the entire time I present talking, I give participants much more opportunity to talk. Instead of participants sitting around listening, I give them opportunities to do.
A culture where teachers talk about instruction, math problems, and student ideas, feel ownership in their lessons and the lessons of others, and can comfortably visit one another’s classrooms.
And because I value this bigger view on the current state of professional development…
As long as we don’t have strong frameworks for understanding how teachers learn, PD –– even localized, teacher-led PD –– risks being just another set of activities with little influence on practice.