Professional development too often in my district consists of cramming hundreds of teachers into a board room to listen to some sort of expert or guru, as we like to call them, speak for 90% of our “required duty day.” Teachers then meet up with the faculty of their school sites to “debrief.” This site-based session usually involves the principal facilitating a so-called discussion where the teachers who normally do the majority of pontificating, complaining, and debating hash out the concepts of the day.
A new twist on this format has been the arrival of the Webinar where now instead of passively sitting and listening to a teaching “guru” lecture us, we watch them lecture us remotely via an LCD projector and two-inch computer speaker in a dimly lit room.
I would love to “FLIP” this top-down, passive-learner model and participate in professional development where TEACHERS are the gurus, and they’re openly, honestly, and freely sharing ideas, collaborating on lessons and instructional strategies, and building Personal Learning Networks in the process. The administration would then be charged with the task of seeking ways to support the classroom teacher in their quests to improve instruction.
I would love to participate in an unconference like EdCamp. Check it out: http://edcampfoundation.org/