Pausing for PD

As the semester draws near an end, this is the perfect time to pause and reflect. (In fact, I was deep in reflection almost two years ago to this very day in this blog post!).  Earlier this week we had time to reflect in small groups when we shared the progress of our Edventures with one another.  Reflection is one of “The 25 Things Successful Teachers Do Differently” according to TeachThought.com.
 
Another thing that fits perfectly with our personalized PD this year?
 

 

Successful teachers never stop learning (YAY US!)

Good teachers find time in their schedule to learn themselves. Not only does it help bolster your knowledge in a certain subject matter, it also puts you in the position of student. This gives you a perspective about the learning process that you can easily forget when you’re always in teaching mode.

That last part hit home. This is why PD is so important. Sometimes as teachers we have been in “teaching mode” for so long that we forget that the students don’t know all we know, that they haven’t done any of this before.  We forget they all come to us with vastly different experiences, background knowledge, and learning styles. We become frustrated because not everyone has the same intrinsic motivation and we scratch our heads at the varying social-emotional aptitudes. Our students live in a world much different than the one in which we were raised. They didn’t create the world they are living in…we did!  So why should they have to adapt to an old, outdated system?  Shouldn’t we be the ones adapting?  Personalized PD gives us not only the time, but the permission to seek out ways to change our practice and adapt to our ever-changing world and our ever-changing students.
 
Personalized learning slows us down, allowing us to step back from the frantic pace of the school day.  We enter into a new space and see ourselves and our teaching through the students’ eyes. We consider their perspectives and find ways to reach this new student audience.  This is why I love that we were able to carve out time as a staff to not only consider the effectiveness our teaching practices, but also to improve upon them.  Thank you all for making use of the time and for being willing to share successes and challenges with colleagues.
 
 
What’s next?
Review the entire list of  25 Things Successful Teachers Do Differently” and set a goal for the spring semester. I’m going to work on #15:
 

Successful teachers adapt to student needs

Classrooms are like an ever-evolving dynamic organism. Depending on the day, the attendance roster, and the phase of the moon, you might have to change up your plans or your schedule to accommodate your students. As they grow and change, your methods might have to as well. If your goal is to promote a curriculum or method, it will feel like a personal insult when you have to modify it. Make connecting with your student your goal and you’ll have no trouble changing it up as time moves on.

Write your goal down and spend 5 minutes or so writing a reflection about the goal…then put it in a place where it can serve as a daily reminder come spring.  When you return in January, your goal will already be set and you will be refreshed and ready to dig in to the important work we do. 

I hope your last couple of school weeks are filled with joy! 

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