As an educator, what’s the most valuable kind of PD been for you? In what context has your most meaningful or most exciting learning taken place?
Reflecting on my own professional learning in recent times and considering what was most effective for me, has made me think… If it works for us, it should work for them.
The most valuable learning for me has been through:
Writing a blog has been a tool for synthesising my thoughts, clarifying my ideas and reflecting on my practice. Commenting on other blogs and responding to comments on my own has allowed me to engage in professional dialogue.
2. Following my passions
I love technology and the possibilities it opens up for flattening classroom walls. I have spent the past year experimenting with ways to make it happen across the school and learned a huge amount in the process.
Collaborating with my online PLN in a variety of ways has supported my learning in so many ways. I have an in-school PLN too and we achieve our best thinking and learning when we work together.
4. Global connections
The benefits of learning from and with interesting people around the globe are immeasurable. My learning is enriched by interactions, through Twitter, blogs and Skype, with people of other cultures, different backgrounds and varied interests.
5. Owning my learning
My most valuable learning has been in areas I have chosen, not via any compulsory staff PD. We’re making sure all staff PD for next year is based on choice.
6. Knowing why
Related to the one above, starting from the ‘why, rather than ‘what’ or ‘how” makes all the difference to learning. Matching learning to goals and interests means getting much more out of it.
7. Meaningful feedback
Sharing my learning with colleagues at school and a global audience on my blog has meant opportunities for specific feedback to push my thinking forward and help me decide where to take my learning next.
8. Not sticking to the job description (curriculum)
I have learned a huge amount in the past few years by using my initiative to explore new possibilities and create my own opportunities. If I had limited myself to what was expected, I wouldn’t have moved forward in the ways I have.
9. Being curious
Asking questions. Experimenting with new ideas. Seeking information. Making new connections. Being open-minded.
10. Focusing on learning, not on teaching
The more I have focused on learning, both my own and that of my students, the better my teaching has become. It’s that simple.
If these are the factors that have enhanced my own learning, shouldn’t I be providing my students with exactly the same sorts of learning opportunities? Shouldn’t we all?