Tales of an 8th Grade Teacher
Professional Development

Today was a PD day for all elementary/middle school teachers in my district. While I was excited about the topic, it turned out to be the worst 8 hours of professional development I have ever participated in. The content was disorganized, incoherent, and honestly confused me on a topic I considered myself relatively knowledgable about. At one point, my principal turned to our staff and told us to disregard the majority of what the speaker was saying, as he was giving us misinformation regarding our district. That is not a good sign. 

So now that I am home, I’m reflecting back on the day. I have been on both ends of the PD experience - I have been both a presenter and a learner. It is not easy and would never claim it is. So I’m left thinking of my presenter “wish list” and the next time I give a presentation I am going to be sure to hold myself to these standards:

  • Be prepared and organized
  • Check technology before using it
  • Ask questions and give time for questions to be asked
  • Present information in a logical sequence
  • Give enough thinking time for information to be processed, but not so much that the mind wanders off to a million other things
  • Participate in meaningful activities
  • Engage and collaborate with others
  • Show models of expectations
  • Make connections directly back to “today’s” classrooms

All of these things would have helped me better understand the presentation today, and I would think help me be an effective presenter. I also started to think about all the things I would like to attend workshops on - so I made a wish list for that too! 

  • Parent Communication
  • Addressing bullying in the classroom
  • Digital citizenship
  • Various educational technologies
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ)
  • Reading and Writing strategies for middle school (I always feel workshops hit elementary and high school - middle school is always left in the, well, middle)
  • Smartboard techniques
  • Using current events
  • Vocabulary strategies
  • EVERYTHING. I love learning and sharing new ideas! 

What kind of PD would you like to have? How does your school or district handle PD? How do you deal with ineffective workshops? Do you think some PD is out of touch with the current classroom?

  1. talesofan8thgradeteacher posted this