What does professional development look like in your district?
Last week, one of my PLN members, Rodney Turner, Tweeted about Professional Development.
Rodney and Len Horn came to AJUSD today, and even though it was a half day and a few days before spring break, here’s the highlights of what they saw:
- CCJH Social Studies Teacher, Sheryl Anderson, asking students to share powerful quotes from famous people about World War II; and asked each student to defend why they chose that quote. — We also discussed how she had students learn about economics through an eBay project.
- CCJH Science Teacher, Bethany Ligon‘s students were involved in peer assessment of their science journals; while some students were in the mall area on their Chromebooks finishing up some of their work for the quarter. — The students were involved hands-on with their learning, and digging in deeper with the tools at their fingertips.
- CCJH Math Teacher, Lydia Henry, individualizing instruction. While she was working with a few individuals on areas they needed support, other students were on Kahn Academy or other sites for standards that they needed.
- SMES 5th grade Teacher, Brian Lockwood, investing in students. He also took the time to talk with us about the current global collaboration his class is involved in, reflecting on other collaborations, and upcoming goals he has.
- SMES 5th grade Teacher, Colleen Bean, walking her students through a graphing lesson, and tapping into resources such as our online enVision textbook through Pearson SussessNet, and utilizing the doc cam to model.
- SMES 6th grade Science Teacher, Lisa Byars, working with a small group of students on reading/ELA standards through science content.
- SMES 4th grade Teacher, David Gross, engaging students in various rigorous learning activities.
- SMES 1st grade Teacher, Veronica Irwin, using carpet time to investigate a math learning video before launching into their lesson.
- SMES Kindergarten Teacher, Susan Rabe, having students dive into a Tumblebook.
Rigor and consistent vision
Some of the take-aways I heard from Rodney and Lon were:
- Technology is used purposefully to enhance learning, with an appropriate blend of traditional (and engaging) learning.
- There’s a consistent message of rigor and a consistent vision of working towards Common Core/21st century learning expectations.
Through their insightful questions about Professional Development, the unity we have as a district with PD and the power of our Collaboration Coaching as well as our Common Core Coaching really came to the forefront. Furthermore, job-embedded professional learning is exceptionally powerful.
On a half day, right before spring break, our students are engaged in rigorous learning, appropriate for their grade levels.