In June and July teachers are usually on a mid-year or mid-term break.
During these holidays educators often use that time productively and opt for some form of Professional Development.
Choosing your PD demands some thoughtful planning. Otherwise the opposite, i.e. opting for what turns out to a ‘bad workshop’, not only elicits an angry reaction but it also can put a sour taste on PD for a long time to come.
Good PD is certainly not what is exemplified in this following video. (This ‘facilitator’ was one of several consultants flown in from California and the United Kingdom for the Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Strategic School Support Services’ special network. This is a professional development for teachers of Saturday ISAT preparation classes.)
Robyn Jackson is the creator of Mindsteps, author and educational consultant. She believes that there are 9 steps (pdf attached) to follow to get the most out of a PD opportunity.
I also think that a good PD delivers on these 3 criteria.
We are encouraged and forced to meet and new colleagues, we are challenged and stimulated to think more deeply about your own professional skills, and we come away with new ideas and resources that we can implement immediately when on returning to our respective learning communities.
What are your criteria for a quality professional development opportunity?
And what are the qualities of a useful workshop?