Personalized Professional Development at Home
Teachers need time to relax and reenergize over the summer months, but they also have the opportunity to engage in tailored professional development during this time. After teaching online during the spring semester, I was given the option to take part in professional development activities from the comfort of my own home. I absolutely adore the ease and adaptability that this kind of learning environment provides. There are a multitude of alternatives for professional development that may be pursued digitally, ranging from resources centred on pedagogical practises to social and emotional learning to diversity and equity training.
One of the advantages of personalised professional development is the ease with which it may be individualised in accordance with the objectives and requirements of each individual educator. For some educators, the focus may be on instructional practises, while for others, it may be on culturally relevant teaching or on new technologies.
One more advantage of engaging in personalised professional development at home is the reduced financial outlay involved. This summer, there are a large number of free professional development programmes that are accessible. These programmes are flexible and may easily fit into the schedules of instructors.
FORMATS FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AT HOME
The term “professional learning” can refer to a variety of activities. Webinars and podcasts are very versatile learning options. There are some webinars that take place in real time and provide participants the ability to ask questions of the presenters via an online chat feature; however, the majority of webinars are recorded, giving educators the chance to view them whenever it is convenient for them.
Webinars: Throughout the summer, Solution Tree will be hosting a variety of webinars. While some webinars are centred on a book study, those that focus on an educational expert who imparts information are referred to as “webinars with a difference.” Book studies are available on a variety of topics, including but not limited to the following: utilising advances in neuroscientific research; differentiating instructional strategies to improve student achievement; establishing a culture of feedback; incorporating compassion into teaching; and assisting teachers in the development of self-care plans.
Studies of books provide opportunity for group work, as their very nature encourages it. This coming summer, educators can participate in Camp Corwin, an online book club that is being hosted by Corwin Publishing. Each book club will get together for a total of four different times, and members will have a wide variety of titles from which to chose. In addition, Corwin has a library of webinars that span nine years and cover a wide variety of subjects, such as small group instruction, strengths-based mathematics instruction, trauma, transformative teaching, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, equity, visible learning, and teacher efficacy. These webinars can be accessed on Corwin’s website.
Podcasts: If you are interested in podcasts, the website of the publishing company Heinemann features a number of different podcasts that you may listen to. Dismantling racism, locating the appropriate resources for read-alouds, providing math instruction remotely, and developing reading instruction that is responsive are some of the current issues that are being discussed on podcasts.
They also provide original audio series, such as Beyond the Letters, in which Maggie Beattie-Roberts and Kate Roberts lead dialogues with LGBTQ educators about what it takes to build a truly inclusive space for children. Beyond the Letters is just one of their many original podcast series. These shows go into great detail and deliver new episodes on a weekly basis with a variety of guests.
The term “social media” actually encompasses a wide range of different online learning opportunities. This may involve question-and-answer sessions on Twitter with an online learning community, Facebook Live sessions with one of your favourite educational authors, or a book study with other educators on Instagram. The Facebook page for Discovery Education provides a multitude of materials for educators on a wide variety of subjects, spanning from STEM to social and emotional learning. Additionally, they provide a live webinar series called Facebook Live Equality Talks, which focuses on equity in education and features some of the most prominent educational leaders in the country. August is when we will get back to these workshops. On the other hand, you can still browse the archived sessions from this past spring.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN DECIDING WHAT TO DO
Ask yourself the following things to help you decide what kind of individualised professional development activities you would like to take part in during the course of this summer:
Where do I want to see the most improvement in my educational experience? Will participating in these professional development courses throughout the course of the summer assist improve the quality of my work?
How will my teaching be improved as a result of participating in this professional development, and how will my students benefit? Will it be simple for me to put the strategies I learn into practise on my own? In the event that I am having difficulty, how will I get support?
When I’ve put all of the new teaching tactics into practise in my classroom, what will it look like? Will pupils be interested, and will they be able to retain what they learn?
When I go back to my old classroom, how will the new abilities and information I’ve acquired build upon my previous capacities?
When it comes to individual professional growth, I believe it is necessary to keep in mind a few factors, including the following: To begin, it is important to keep in mind that although self-directed professional development can be very beneficial for individual teachers, it is not sufficient for adopting changes that affect the entire school.
Next, throughout this summer, you should think about finding a colleague with whom you can discuss ideas, share new learnings, and cooperate. This person could be someone you work with at the moment, or it could be someone you’ve connected with through an online forum. If you have someone with whom you can discuss different aspects of teaching and learning, it will be much easier for you to plan out how you will introduce new elements into your classroom in the upcoming school year.
Finally, make an effort to reduce the amount of time you spend in front of a screen so that you won’t feel overwhelmed and skip out on getting enough rest.