Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Taking control of your own PD

Jeff Delp is a K-12 administrator, sports fanatic, technology junkie, bicycling enthusiast, and jedi in his own mind.  His blog can be found by clicking here, he recently blogged about taking control of your own PD.  Here is his message:

Magic markers, butcher paper and Post-It notes.  In combination with poor professional development planning, they are enough to strike fear into the heart of the most dedicated educator.  All too often, these are the tools for a “one-size-fits-all” training session–frequently involving the creation of a goofy diagram, or poster, for presentation to other trainees.

For years, we have understood the importance of differentiating instruction for our students, so why has it taken us so long to recognize that teachers deserve equal consideration and individualization?

Technology has forever changed the face of professional development in education.  As is the case in the classroom, technology allows for the personalization of learning–seizing upon the specific needs and interests of the educator.  Tools like Twitter, Google Reader and blogs allow educators to participate in PPD–perpetual professional development.  No more retreating into the relative isolation of the classroom to apply a strategy without any help or assistance.  Simply get connected with your Personal Learning Network (PLN), be affirmed, receive feedback and provide suggestions.

Want to feel re-energized in the classroom, at your school, and in your profession?  Put away the butcher paper and magic markers, take charge, and make your professional development meaningful.  Start by creating a Twitter account and follow #edchat – a fantastic way to build a PLN.

No worries–if you aren’t a little bit overwhelmed by what is out there, you probably aren’t paying attention.


  1. Asking teachers to find their voice using available technology is not only professional development, it is development of the profession. This is a perspective that is lacking in US education (see "The Teaching Gap"). When working with inservice teachers, I often ask what they need or want to do and the response is blank stares. They have been so disempowered by traditional PD.

    This is one of the reasons that we are having preservice teachers try out twitter and blogs - so they can find and keep their voice by developing connections and building their confidence.

    Please consider following our preservice teachers on Twitter and at their blogs - they need strong cybermentors. You can find them on my Blog and Twitter feed. Thanks!

  2. I've been thinking the same about my Teacher Education programme. We've been hearing a lot of theories we *should* be doing in the classroom but it isn't implemented in the course.