Disclaimer: This blog post is just an idea. It is nothing that has been shared with anyone in the district. It is nothing that is even “in the works”. Several factors in the past 2 weeks have contributed to this idea and even the idea of blogging about it.
- One of my grad student’s (@JG0005) blog post called Exposed that shares her thoughts about transparency at the beginning stages of a teaching idea and early implementation phases. This post is a front end idea.
- Innovator’s Mindset Mooc discussion – A discussion about Inquiry based PD with George Couros (@gcouros) (2/15/16)
- School discussions about what PD will look like next year.
- A Google Hangout with Scott Mcleod (@mcleod) discussing Trudacot (2/17/16)
- A BAM Radio show interview with Brad Gustafson (@GustafsonBrad) and Ben Gilpin (@benjamingilpin) around creativity in learning/teaching (2/18/16) – My takeaway thought – What are the enablers of innovative teaching? Does innovative teaching lead to creative learning?
- Our district strategic plan
- Reflections from chapters 4 – 6 Innovator’s Mindset book.
- iPad/21st Century Feedback surveys – We have a good baseline. Its time to start acting on the things that matter to us.
- Observations of current grad class – Connected Educator Connected Classroom. First round of lesson plans have come in – and I am super excited from what is being shared. Amazing stuff in development.
- Reflections of BearsPD.com – This week at the elementary, I was excited to hear that some of the teachers implemented some of the ideas (with great success!)shared at previous sessions. I find these short conversations (½ hour or so) is enough for some teachers to have an idea and implement. (reports of both student engagement and observation of teacher engagement).
Breakthrough Idea – Teacher/Admin Genius Hour
Big Idea – Consider Teacher Genius hour as a model of PD. (Maybe Admin Genius hour too? – would love seeing administrators model ways they are being innovative – including this tech director)
Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. (www.geniushour.com/what-is-genius–hour/)
- What effects does innovative teaching have on learners? (engagement, achievement, skills ect)
- Are we delivering on the vision and ALL priorities of our strategic plan?
- How do we move from pockets of Innovation to fostering cultures of innovation/learning?
- How do we give teachers ownership of PD and honor/celebrate their work?
- What opportunities does a personalized inquiry based PD bring to our district?
- How can we creatively tackle roadblocks that get in our way?
- How do we empower all of our staff to take risks?
- Would modeling self directed learning at all levels in an organization lead to more opportunities of self directed learning for students?
Here are a few things that I know about PD.
- In the book Drive, Daniel Pink shares that employee engagement today relies heavily on 3 things. Autonomy, Purpose, and Mastery.
- The best PD is pd that is embedded in the school day. In a recent district survey, the number one barrier to effective use of technology is time (27%).
- The best PD is not a 1 and done, but something that is continually supported and followed up on a regular basis.
- Learning is not just passively listening to a presenter’s lecture at a workshop, but an applied understanding of an idea/concept into the classroom and reflecting/presenting the results the experience.
First run…. A potential plan – Draft Draft Draft!
- Kick of the event with PD time to explore the topics in @mcleod’s and @jgraber Trudacot lesson design tool. There could be others but I really like the focus on students and deep relevant learning.
- Teachers pitch ideas. Either they create a new lesson or re-design an existing lesson that is improved “significantly” based on Trudacot topics to engage learners and deepen learning. Maybe do a critical friends session. The end result – must have a positive impact student learning in some way.
- Teacher ideas can be collaborative (seeking partners or team events) or independent. Would love to see teachers collaborating across the disciplines
- Decision is solidified, and teachers create an action plan
- Create mini workshops or coaching sessions based on teacher needs to complete goals.
- Planning process is documented/journaled/or blogged along the way.
- Teachers implement action plan/lesson idea into the classroom.
- Teachers collect evidence and reflect on the process
- Teachers (and maybe students too?) present their findings science fair style. Or I am thinking it would be cool to have a Ted Talk style presentation – short and sweet – 5-7 minutes tops. Maybe Pecha Kucha Style?
- Would love to invite the community to this event. Maybe even other districts. I consider this a celebration of the work of our Teachers AND an opportunity to share ideas to others in hopes it generates more ideas and action to try something.
ROADBLOCKS and “Yeah Buts” to overcome
I don’t have time for this. I get this. We need time and time needs to built into our system. My dream would be time each week (just like a true Genius Hour project) to be dedicated each week. However, ½ days every 2 weeks might work or even 1 day per month. If we do not have calendar time to support this idea, I do not believe we can have “systemic” success. Can this be revised? Absolutely – but I am just sharing my “dream scenario” at this point.
Accountability. What about those who do nothing? In my mind, most teachers would love an opportunity to have time to focus on creative lesson planning/mini action research – However, we know there will be some who will try to get by with as little as possible. I do think a presentation expectation in front of peers, school board, community – could eliminate this factor….
We don’t know if it will work. Lets face it. There are many things we do NOW that do not work. We have spent many dollars in PD that has been ineffective. In my opinion, This has all of the makings of success. The timing is right. The focus on learning experiences is perfect. What is the worst thing that could happen? We need breakthrough ideas and we need an avenue to share them and celebrate them!
But some people are more innovative than me. Some people will make me look bad. OK – this is a big BIG mindset issue. We should celebrate everyone’s wins no matter where they are. The only thing that would look bad is if you do NOTHING. Then that would be on you.
But what if my results are not good? This idea is about an innovation journey. It’s about failing forward. Even if results are not as great as one would wish – did you learn and grow along the way? Even though the results were not as good as you wished – would there be things that you could “tweak” to make results even better. There may be opportunity for feedback from peers – that could make the product so much better.
So there you have it! – As this is at an infancy stage right now – there are plenty of opportunities for improvement. But I do believe going down this path could be inspiring. I think the creative ideas and innovative actions of our teachers can better define our future at BPS!
So what do you think… Is this a breakthrough idea? Have feedback? I would lOVE to hear from you!