This started early in the year as an idea that would grow into one of my favorite days in my career. This professional learning opportunity did not happen without a great deal of work and collaboration but it did happen.
The event kicked off with a awesome opening by our superintendent. He spoke to the importance of learning but also the importance of learning together. This was a pivotal moment for our school district on the path to being the best!
Here is what it looked like logistically:
After the opening remarks each teacher moved to an array of classrooms where a topic of their choice was offered. The learning did not stop there because we rotated two more times to other classrooms based on topics the teachers chose. Oh and by the way, those offerings were facilitated by none other than the teachers and administrators of our district.
Teachers teaching teachers...
Teachers learning things that THEY felt would benefit them on a day-to-day basis...
Here are a few of the moments captured.
The key to this training that made it successful...CHOICE. Teachers were able to choose sessions that fit what they wanted to learn more about. I know you are wondering, how many sessions could they possible choose from? Well, to be exact...24. Yep, there were 24 total sessions ranging from dyslexia to integrating technology and anywhere between. There was even a physical education session where teachers could let loose and play games that their students were participating in.
I heard comments like...
"best PD ever!"
"I loved the fact that we had a choice."
"I just liked seeing people from other schools.
The day itself flowed so nicely that it seems that setting it up was a simple task. Don't get me wrong, there was a GREAT DEAL of work put into this. Teachers were surveyed as to what they needed and presenters were asked to leave their comfort zone and share what they know with their colleagues. Logistically, we wanted everything to flow so that the focus that day would be on the content. The future looks bright for this event!
So what is next?
Well, we plan on replicating this activity for the future. We will continue to do some small learning opportunities but we are thinking big for next year, hopefully half of our early dismissal days will look similar to this one. This is a GREAT way to provide personalized learning opportunities for teachers but definitely not the only way. My hope, I continue to reach out to my PLN as well as ongoing collaboration with the instructional coaches to come up with even better ways to help teachers learn.
By the way, if you have an interest in seeing the specific structure of our day, feel free to shoot me an email or find me on Twitter.