Even though we’ve been very lucky at our school to have great professional development, there have been times that I’ve had to attend absolutely terrible District-sponsored sessions. Unfortunately, terrible sessions are a common experience that many teachers share.
I thought I’d bring together a few potentially useful resources on the topic (including links to a number of related resources I’ve previously published) and invite readers to contribute more in the comments section (you might also be interested in The Best Places For ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers To Get Online Professional Development):
I’ve got to start off with the recent infamous video clip from a Chicago Schools professional development session that I titled “Though It Seems Like A Parody, It’s A Real Professional Development Event.” I’ll reprint the entire post:
Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union, sent this out:
This is what PD looks like in Chicago. Sick. http://t.co/SmF4kPszIS
— Karen Lewis (@KarenLewisCTU) February 28, 2014
Here is the video’s description:
This presenter was one of several consultants flown in from California and the United Kingdom for the Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Strategic School Support Services’ special network. This is a professional development for teachers of Saturday ISAT preparation classes.
Yes, you can make a lot of things look bad taken out of context, but I don’t think a case can be made that this is appropriate for any professional development, or classroom, context….
Why most professional development for teachers is useless is an excellent piece by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post. She picked-up on my original post about the video, and followed-up with this one.
What Professional Development Should Be is by Nancy Flanagan.
Your Best Training Session Ever is by Daniel Coyle.
Lesson Study is an excellent post at Class Teaching about that well-known form of professional development in Japan.
Here are some of my previous posts related to professional development:
‘If only American teachers were smarter…’ is from The Washington Post.
What Would Better Professional Development Look Like? is a conversation between Michelle Rhee and Jack Schneider in Ed Week.
Rethinking Classroom Observation by Emily Dolci Grimm, Trent Kaufman and Dave Doty is excellent.
Research Says / Keep Professional Learning Groups Small, But Connected is by Bryan Goodwin (who always writes great stuff).
Again, please feel free to contribute additional resources in the comments section!