I am lucky enough to be part of a school district that places a high value on professional learning and growth; to be a teacher here is to be part of a constant conversation around how to improve our practice and best serve the students in our community. Just this week, I have been a part of a discussion on the use of instructional walkthroughs, attended a class on John Hattie’s work around teacher collaboration, read and shared articles with colleagues about teacher leadership programs and using Twitter as professional development, all while organizing a professional development event for two schools in the district! The events and experiences of this week are the stuff of several blog posts, but in this inaugural post, I’ll share how this week was the ultimate catalyst for the decision to put my thoughts, ideas, and writing out there to the world.
I’ve always loved writing; reading Anna Quindlen’s essays in Newsweek throughout grade school planted the idea in my head that someday I’d be an essayist, an author. But everybody and their brother has a blog, and I knew nobody would be interested in what I had to say–that has been my excuse for years. This year, though, my principal introduced me to the work of Brene Brown (Brene Brown TEDx), and challenged me to be vulnerable, as a via to growth and connection. So I started writing, as a way to reflect and process what I was learning and feeling about my work in education, and sharing my writing with my principal. Which is fabulous, and fun, and important work. I know I benefit greatly from the practice.
But the message I’m getting loud and clear from all that PD my district is so fond of is that collaboration and reflection with colleagues, on the work of teaching, is some of the most effective and impactful professional development there is. So now, I’m compelled to share my thoughts and ideas on this hugely important work that we do. If you’re interested, if it offers a different perspective, if you find it helpful, then that’s wonderful. My goal is to make this one form (of many) of professional collaboration that I engage in to continuously improve my practice.