That’s the sentence where the insanity is usually born. Don’t we all start with a crazy idea? It’s what we do with it that counts. Do we keep it buried in our pocket? Or do we take the plunge and dive in?
I took the plunge.
When I began to think about how to spend our time for an upcoming afternoon of professional development, I knew I wanted to keep the focus on teachers. Based on recent observations and teacher feedback, I knew this to be true:
- Our staff felt we were in a rut.
- The health and well-being of teachers was being overlooked.
- Professional development was almost always structured for curriculum purposes.
Most often this time is driven by “data” and does not offer teachers the opportunity to personalize their learning. How many times do we attend PD sessions that are one-size-fits-all? Teachers need choice too. I began to wonder what an afternoon of professional development could look like if teachers had the ability to learn from each other. We are our best resource collectively.
This time of year we are all feeling a bit “frayed” as Tony Keefer talked about in his most recent blog post. He somehow took the juxtaposition of unraveling and gratitude and morphed it into a love letter for teachers.
On December 8th, just 12 days shy of our winter break, we had our first afternoon of professional learning chosen entirely by, and for, teachers. This day, and all the magic that happened, was a love letter to teaching….and to each other.
Too often in education we get in a rut. Sometimes you have to take an idea and run with it. Don’t be scared to fail. Community is what saves us when things get off track.