As my colleague and I sat waiting for our flight to Hartford and AASL's National conference, I started reflecting on professional development and what it is exactly.
I have been fortunate to have had many travelling experiences with my colleagues and they have all been tremendous. No matter how outstanding the actual conferences has been, the true PD has occurred after hours. Spending time outside of the school building and the timetable means that you get to know that colleague you usually only talk to when you are at the photocopier. It is also the time when you get to sit back, internalize and talk about your learning. And for me, it is an opportunity to begin collaborating with teachers around the new topic of interest.
That said, the conferences that I have gone to by myself have been equally enriching, yet in a very different way. Here the talk is about curriculum and tried and true activities/projects because we are all strangers trying to make connections. As a result, the negativity is minimized and it becomes a time to share amazing ideas.
I have been fortunate to work with incredible educators who realize that professional development isn't a workshop or a conference, but rather an ongoing never-ending process of learning and improving the craft of teaching.
Great PD resources
Twitter, of course, is a great resource. Follow an educational chat like #tlchat #bcedchat and the list goes on and on. Check out http://cybraryman.com/chats.html
to find a chat that appeals to you.
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