Whole school professional development days don’t always please everyone. People aren’t always at the same stage of development, after all, and not everyone has the same PD needs.
Today was an exception. All sessions were presented by teachers for teachers and it was a resounding success!
The morning was divided into three one-hour sessions, where teachers were invited to ‘give one, take 2’. Some teachers were asked to present on external PD workshops they had previously attended, while others volunteered to present on topics of their choice. Some preferred the comfort of presenting together with one or two peers. All teachers selected which workshops they wanted to participate in.
Sessions included such things as…
- The value of class blogs and how to get started
- Reading blogs for our own professional development
- Supporting learning through drama
- The role of the arts in teaching
- Maths for kids at risk
- How to create a slideshow using Kizoa
- Differentiated instruction
- Using ToonDoo across the curriculum
- Creating a culture of thinking in the classroom
- iPods for learning
- The role of occupational therapy in school
In the afternoon, we had a whole school session, showcasing the learning from K-6 through one trans-disciplinary theme, ‘How we express ourselves’. Teachers who hadn’t facilitated workshops in the morning were responsible for these presentations. It’s so easy to focus on your own class or the year level that you teach. This was a wonderful opportunity to see how learning progresses and thinking develops from 3 year olds, up through the primary years.
It was apparent that we have an amazing bunch of teachers across our 3 campus, K-6 Primary School! Teachers love to learn from other teachers and appreciated the fact that they could choose their own learning. Some found that preparing for their workshops made them revisit PD they’d attended and helped them consolidate what they had learned. Many valued the opportunity to step outside their comfort zone and present to their peers for the first time (although some only valued it after their sessions were over!)
Here are a few samples of teacher feedback…
- A fantastic range of choices and wonderful to learn from colleagues.
- The presentations were great and I’ve already set up a class blog.
- The workshops were so inspiring, it would have been better if they were half an hour longer.
- Great to have staff present as they understand our environment and challenges.
- It was great to see what goes on in the rest of the school and that we’re all on the same page.
- I loved seeing the learning journey, where they came from and where they are going to.
- Great opportunity to hear colleagues share their knowledge and experiences.
- The morning sessions were interesting, informative and practical. Loved them!
- We do great things. I had no idea so much was happening!!
We’ll definitely be doing this again!!