Magic markers, butcher paper and Post-It notes. In combination with poor professional development planning, they are enough to strike fear into the heart of the most dedicated educator. All too often, these are the tools for a “one-size-fits-all” training session–frequently involving the creation of a goofy diagram, or poster, for presentation to other trainees.
For years, we have understood the importance of differentiating instruction for our students, so why has it taken us so long to recognize that teachers deserve equal consideration and individualization?
Technology has forever changed the face of professional development in education. As is the case in the classroom, technology allows for the personalization of learning–seizing upon the specific needs and interests of the educator. Tools like Twitter, Google Reader and blogs allow educators to participate in PPD–perpetual professional development. No more retreating into the relative isolation of the classroom to apply a strategy without any help or assistance. Simply get connected with your Personal Learning Network (PLN), be affirmed, receive feedback and provide suggestions.
Want to feel re-energized in the classroom, at your school, and in your profession? Put away the butcher paper and magic markers, take charge, and make your professional development meaningful. Start by creating a Twitter account and follow #edchat – a fantastic way to build a PLN.
No worries–if you aren’t a little bit overwhelmed by what is out there, you probably aren’t paying attention.