GREAT PROFESSIONAL LEARNING SHOULD BE...
WORK CAN BE CUSTOMIZED IN MANY WAYS...
Bring the whole faculty together for an inspirational talk to support district unity and shared vision. Keynotes are most impactful when they are part of a broader set of work. No matter how uplifting, a one-off talk rarely helps make meaningful change without being connected to the bigger picture.
A workshop might be a half-day, a full-day, a week, or anything in between. These give educators a chance to dig into content together in depth. Through a mix of direct presentation, activities, planning, and discussion, learners get to wrestle with challenging content in the safety of a community of colleagues.
Sometimes the most effective way to support change across a large school or district is to develop a set of in-house teacher-leaders who can then facilitate learning with their colleagues. In order for this to work well, teacher-leaders need to develop skills of facilitation and access to high-quality resources. This can help build sustainability for long-term implementation in a district while also nurturing your next set of school and district leaders.
When teams of teachers get together to plan, share strategies, and problem-solve, incredible growth can happen. This format allows for professional learning to be embedded throughout the year–small groups can rotate throughout a day which reduces disruptions to classes and only requires minimal coverage.
Teachers crave authentic and meaningful feedback. They also love to learn from and with each other. Too often, peer observations in schools are unwieldy–requiring complex charts and coverage systems. What if it was manageable? What if teachers had a set of protocols and skills so it felt meaningful and safe? That’s what collegial coaching is all about!
It can be so powerful to see strategies in action with your own students! Demonstration lessons give teachers the chance to watch a strategy in action and then reflect deeply about it afterwards. Over and over, teachers share that this is one of the most impactful professional learning experiences they’ve had.
When a teacher has a specific goal and is ready for highly specific and supportive feedback, you can’t beat one-on-one coaching. This strategy is best used with teachers who crave it and are open and eager to learn.
Sometimes it makes sense to support teachers and students remotely through an online platform. This might take the form of a book study, small group planning sessions, coaching, a live workshop, or an online course. Key principles of great learning still apply. It must be purposeful, practical, dynamic, and interactive!
Most commonly requested topics...
Keep in mind, these often blend together once we get going!
In these videos, you’ll see two very different kinds of customized professional learning opportunities in action.
In August, 2018, I delivered the opening-day keynote event for 2200+ educators in Nashua, NH. The primary goal was to kick off the year for teachers with positive energy and enthusiasm. The other goal of this talk was to support work I had been doing in several Nashua schools and share that message with the whole district.
In this video, I’m teaching a demonstration lesson in Boca Raton, FL as a part of my work at this school on social-emotional learning (SEL). The goal was demonstrate the teaching of SEL skills during a third grade reading lesson. Just off camera are about 12 teachers from the SEL leadership team. After the lesson we debriefed as a team.