The other day I came across a tweet from Alfie Kohn. He simply asked, “Question for prof dev orgs: Do you mostly 1) ask tchrs “How can we help?” or 2) train them to implement the latest mandate from on high?” He made a really good point. I furthered discussed the issue with fellow educator Starr Sackstein.You can discuss this, and other issues with Starr on twitter, or read her new column in EdWeek!
For the most part, Professional Development organizations have existed to simply help/train educators to implement the latest mandate. I’m guilty of this as well…. I started to reflect, “When was the last time I asked the staff what I could do to help?”
I developed a quick Google form to ask three simple questions (besides their name).
Here are the questions:
1. What do you need help with?
2. What do you want to learn more about?
3. What are you willing to help others with?
In terms of “Professional Development” the results of this quick survey will help me help the staff. Simple as that. Knowing I can’t do everything, I did put in the third question in because I truly believe that the the staff can help each other out! I’m looking forward to a more collaborative approach to building-level professional development. For those who are reading this who work in the building, I embedded the document (I will email the staff as well). For everyone else, I appreciate the support because I may need to call on you to help, or maybe we can help you! …. Power of the PLN!