Complete the following sentence in your head.
Every workshop I attend should . . .
My first thought?
include snacks and very large Diet Pepsi.
But I suppose there are a few other ways to complete the sentence. A couple of weeks ago I ran across a very interesting post by Pernille Ripp titled Every Workshop I Attend Should . . . What Attendees Wish We Knew. Powerful stuff. As someone who spends a lot of time working with teachers, it was a great reminder of what a good PD session should look like.
- Teachers want choice
- They want to connect with others and content
- They want to be acknowledged as experts
- They want practical ideas
- They want to be inspired
- They want the focus to be on students
- They want it to be fun
And I’m a big believer in face to face, professional learning in groups. I love the interaction that can happen when teachers passionate about the profession get together. Using Ripp’s list as a guide is a wonderful way to measure whether the learning is of high quality.
But with this new fangled interwebs thing out there, there is also personal professional growth opportunities available that would have been impossible to find even five years ago. So where can you find professional development options that contain all of the things on Ripp’s list? Read more
I have a confession to make. I failed. And it’s not the first time. Though there is a silver lining – I didn’t fail as bad as I’ve failed in the past.
Back in May, I listed eight books that I planned to read over the summer. Five work related and three, you know . . . just for fun. And just like every summer I’ve created a reading list, I failed to finish the list. But I came close. I went seven for eight.
The secret? Go tech naked for five days and knock out four books one right after the other. In addition to the summer reading list, there was also a brief Civil War kick in early summer related to the 150th Gettysburg anniversary.
And of course, there’s always the annual Wiebe Labor Day bookapolloza.
This year’s take.
For the last six or seven years, over the Labor Day weekend, my family and I travel to some exotic city (like Kansas City or Wichita), eat the same sort of food all weekend, and visit as many bookstores as we can. And, of course, we always name the weekend. Among other things. we’ve had Burgers and Books, BBQ and Books, Bolognese and Books.
This year? We wanted to focus on Asian food but couldn’t come up with a “B” word that went with “Books.”
We ended up with Thai and Texts.
Yeah. Not near as catchy. But still a good weekend. Great food. Great conversation. And four bookstores.
Nice story, Glenn. Thanks for sharing. But what’s the point? Read more
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working together with a variety of different teacher groups in a variety of different places. But all of the conversations have somehow shifted back to the same basic compelling question:
What does an effective teacher look like?
It’s a great question to ask. We’ve always paid lip service to professional development and learning but it seems as if only recently has the question been taken seriously. The Common Core literacy standards for history and the newly revised Kansas history/government standards are demanding more from our kids – and from us.
So I started thinking about things we can do to get better as social studies teachers. Not stuff organized by our administrators. Informal sorts of things that can make us more effective. I came up with ten. I’m sure there are more but ya gotta start somewhere.
What would you add? Subtract from the list?