“Professional development” eyes roll. Every time people mention professional development in a school, people usually roll their eyes. “A waste of time,” they say. “We don’t have time for it in our packed schedules.”
What’s Wrong With P.D.
I am an obnoxious learner.
I can’t stop learning. The habit is addicting, like candy and sofas for children. I would argue that I don’t know much, but I’m working to learn everything.
I’m just a curious person about many subjects. If I wanted to stroke my own ego, I’d call myself a polymath. Hah –nerd. I think this is the case because professional development almost always comes across too generalized at best; mandated training in the middle; and a motivational speaker at worst.
I decided that I was going to combine my desire to learn with my own professional development. So, once a week, I block out an entire prep period to read and learn about how to be a better teacher. Each Friday, you can find me taking notes and learning about new teaching strategies.
I had to learn to accept that the work I would have to push back would still get done, but I needed to prioritize getting better at my profession.
It wasn’t an easy decision at first, but, eventually, it became mandatory. I implemented it into my schedule without exceptions.
How to Make P.D. Worth It
I select every Friday as the way that I do my own personalized Professional Development.
Here’s how it looks: I gathered resources on a doc, I skim through them one by one. This is my home base for research.
After simply googling “English Professional Development ” and visiting a few links, I made a teacher twitter to find a chamber known as #EDUTwitter where I would begin building a virtual network to call upon when necessary.
Take actual notes on topics: I opened another doc for taking notes on each article or blog post I stumbled across. I link the content, then I type down the main points along with any commentary I find to be worthwhile.
After reflecting on my teaching abilities, I look for some of my weaknesses, or content needs, and google those topics for further investigation.
Make time to find your own PD by participating in your own communities, but also squeezing the orange for the juice by taking notes, reflecting, and implementing.
It’s the most efficient and effective way to grow in this field.