This post is a quick one, to simply thank Kate Nowak for saying something publicly that I have said privately for a couple of years now. In her post on the NCTM Technology strand, (which everyone should read first. It is okay, I will wait. …. Still here, still waiting, it is okay, really, go read it if you haven’t) she said this:
Dear Teacher: if the professional development offered by your school or district is not helping you improve your practice in clear, consistent, measurable ways, then it’s up to you to take responsibility for your professional growth.
Kate also has the following graphic as well:
The citation for the article leads me to the following link: http://learningforward.org/docs/pdf/nsdcstudy2009.pdf
I have said something similar to teachers in my district for the last couple of years. I have said it to admins, and told teachers that if the PD being offered is not the quality they expect or not meeting their needs then they should leave. I have received blowback on it. I have been told that is rude, arrogant, and that we should just sit through it because someone decided it was important. I call <cough>b.s.
I have said that to the rooms that I have been leading. If this is not meeting your needs, please find a room that is. I do not want to waste your time. I mean it. Leave. Now. Get up, walk out.
If the professional development is ineffective, then we have to start acting on our professional beliefs. The old saw about teachers make the worst learners is absolutely false. We are permanent, professional learners. We make bad learners in bad learning situations!
Kate’s comment struck a chord with me, obviously. I have spent a couple of hours today writing lessons for Desmos for preservice teachers at my local university. It is professional development. It is something I will use to teach other teachers. If it does not engage them; if it does not create questions that are interesting, then I expect to be told.
Thank you Kate. I truly appreciate your words and suggestions.