CBR Professional Development 1st Thoughts
1. Provide at least 3 Essential Questions as options for the group to decide on the final guiding question for the Challenge.
•How could a Professional development group be formulated to address universal needs of the work environment?
•Are there would it be beneficial to have a professional development cadre’ for each subject area at a designated school?
•Are financial investments the concerns the biggest deterrent for implementation of new professional development technologies for Teachers?
•What types of professional development is considered most beneficial to the largest population of teachers/professionals in my work environment?
•Is professional development by and large considered a necessity or a exercise that is “just done” by the supervisory staff of the workplace?
2. What hurdles do you anticipate encountering while completing this project? Your response can focus on the task itself, collaborating in a virtual environment, personal concerns, etc.
•The Coordination of efforts in general seems from the outset to be a significant hurdle to me. Whether online or off, we had some difficulty coordinating with everyone. I foresee some of that diminishing now that we know we are one group, yet we still have not heard from our 6th member. It is yet to be seen what effect if any this has on our group.
•If we are centralizing our feedback on Facebook (which may be the best way to go), will someone remain out of the loop who hasn’t enough time or doesn’t visit Facebook much
•I have personally been in a career transition and it is changed my lifestyle and my study habits overnight…I have to…readjust my priorities.
•Personally, I am still feeling somewhat in a fog about how to approach my CBR. The general consensus at the last CBR meeting was that this fairly normal at this point, though I am concerned about critical planning stages being affected should I have problems getting out of this creative block.
3. List your group members and provide a brief description of what you have learned about them that you think will contribute towards successfully completing this project.
•Leon- has been the most vocal on the site thus far by email and Facebook. Due to his band practice, I don’t expect to see him in Wimba much, but I can always expect feedback from him if I post comments, questions or concerns.
•Yvan- is the most visible of my members as I have seen him in Wimba and in General discussion most. We haven’t talked much but he has been the easiest to catch up with, as he is usually where I am regarding class.
•Toran- I have not met or contacted Toran at this point. So it is difficult to get an assessment of this team member.
•Mary- has been on the spot since we resolved the issue on combining the two PD groups into one. She was very on top of things when we were looking for everyone. She seems like a strong but behind the scenes player to me…I think her efforts might be low-key, yet significant.
•Richard- I have worked with Richard on a team in MLT. He is the only person at present that I have spoken to offline. So I am more familiar with him at present.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I was glad to see you say that “it is normal” to still be in a bit of a fog about CBR. I promise we have strategically planned it on this end so it will unfold in stages and by having your questions to share with your group and some concerns to discuss, you are on your way. The good news is with the finalization of the Collaborative project this month, I think you will have much better direction going into next month’s course. Nice job addressing all the questions.
Sunday, September 12, 2010 – 02:08 PM
Hi John,Regarding your question on professional development. I have attended many PD’s and find that the subject matters on the various courses differed depending on my specific need at the time. I also find that it also depends on what is being offered at a particular point in time. I just received an endorsement to teach Gifted and I had to attend 5 different workshops/courses. They would usually fill up quickly; therefore, I would have to either wait or take them out of sequential order. So basically, meeting a personal goal is quite different than trying to schedule one for a group.
However, if you are looking for a PD that will satisfy your staff as a whole, then other considerations need to be met. First, what is the need at the moment? Is it classroom management, reading data, technology implementation? It can range from one topic to another; however, one certainly is aware of the needs in some way or another. Perhaps creating a poll can help you better understand what the staff is looking for. Below you can find at least three different poll sites that can help you create a free poll.
I also found several websites that offer great advice on how to create a great PD for your school.
I hope this was helpful and please keep in mind that even though we are not in the same group, you can count on me.
Best regards on your journey,
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 – 08:18 PM
Hi John:I am going to comment on your question about professional development and if it is a necessity or something that is “just done”. First of all, it all depends on where you work and on the administration. I worked in the public school arena as a high school teacher for three years and I can say that professional development is a good thing and that it is needed. As a teacher, you have to choose the workshops that will benefit you and your students the most. It is all about growing and getting new ideas from other people. I once heard a presenter say to not be afraid to cheat, meaning that you should try other people’s ideas. You would be surprised as to how much of the information that you get is useful. Don’t be afraid to take these ideas back to your students and try it on them. I am a math instructor, so I love to attend the yearly math conference that is provided by the state of Alabama. I have also attended conventions on the national level. Some of the best teachers in the state and in the country are at these meetings and serve as presenters (and the free stuff is always good). I think you said in your video that your subject area is reading. If you are not a member of any organizations, join now. They are so helpful and there will be people that you can truly relate to.My school system was in favor of professional development and was supportive. As for you, you have to find a way to implement the new material into your curriculum. Yes, I am sure that some systems just go through the motion. Most states require that each teacher receive so many credits of prof. dev. per year, so there will always be those who don’t really care, but just do it because they have to. Don’t be one of those people. Always be willing to go that extra mile to improve yourself. You have to be willing to show your administration how prof. dev. will make you a better teacher. Most of the time, they buy into it.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 – 03:13 PM
Jon, Your concerns with Professional Development are very well put. To comment on the financial investment piece, I find that is a very real and firm barrier. Recently, I was able to be a part of a group of teachers in our area who were a part of a program supplemented with grant money. Being ran by a retired teacher, he was very supportive of teacher’s time commitment and money. Providing sub monies to our district, providing materials free of cost, providing a large equipment “loaner” set, and other facets were extremely helpful – didn’t realize how much I appreciated it until the program was over. I hope other groups begin to realize what a huge time commitment and investment they ask us teachers to put forth. I also like your “just done” comment about PD. How true is it that the administration seems to feel obligated to provide professional development for us…. in the area that THEY feel is important. Not sure about your staff, but a safe assumption is that it’s not usually a real practical set of ideas. I want to hear the opinion of someone that’s been in the classroom recently. Someone that I know has only 22 minutes to eat their lunch and is inundated with special education students until class starts. Good luck on your research. BH
Saturday, September 18, 2010 – 11:18 PM