Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

December 7, 2010

What are Some of the Ways Schools Can Deliver Meaningful Professional Development

Filed under: Edchat — rliberni @ 4:40 pm

#Edchat 11-30–2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Debra Finger (@teacherdebra) for this week’s #edchat summary. PD is a topic close to everyone’s heart on #edchat and it was a very animated discussion with some people sharing good practice while others bewailed the fact that they had no input. All of this has been captured beautifully in Debra’s summary. Let’s hope that we can all take some of these examples of best practice and persuade our institutions to implement them. In any case we are all agreed that #edchat provides great PD every week!! Thanks Debra. Read more about Debra in her bio at the end of the post.

This topic generated hundreds of responses from this week’s participants. It was lively and fast-paced and at times difficult to keep up with everyone’s points. Many feel very passionate about professional development, how it’s delivered, modeled and selected. Several common threads came out of the discussion. 

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion:

  • PD should be hands on with time to use what we are learning
  • Administrators need to model the behavior themselves
  • PD needs to be meaningful, relevant and authentic
  • Teachers need to take charge of their own PD
  • Teachers need to be engaged, active learners, much like the way we want our students to be
  • PD should be self-directed
  • Teachers should create the agenda
  • Teachers need to have choices
  • Teachers should teach other teachers and showcase their successes

Here is a selection of some of the comments:

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

@rliberni: ADMINISTRATORS should attend PD workshops for support and enlightenment. Model behavior. Be the Change.
@bhsprincipal : We also need to get away from the idea that PD only happens on “PD Days” – PD happens every day for me! #edchat
@teacherdebra: Yes, once again, timing is everything. If there isn’t enough time to try out and collabor8, then it was just a meeting
MaggieSwitz: PD is also about celebrating what works – having your teachers showcase their successes so others can learn from them #edchat
@L_Hilt: Control needs to be relinquished. We need to trust that our teachers know how they need to grow professionally
@infodivabronx: PD that answers our unique needs will more likely be internalized by staff
@MZimmer557: #edchat – tchrs are tired of hearing about research based strategies in PD…they want to hear from teachers what works in their classroom
@cybraryman1: I feel there should be a menu of choices of PD for teachers to meet their specific needs #edchat
@k_shelton: I support a model similar to a conference. Teachers propose topics, many are offered, and teachers choose what they want to attend #edchat
@ShellTerrell: If schools truly believe in their teachers&that they R effective then y not get teachers 2 take charge of PD?#edchat
@SamGliksman: @ShellTerrell Good PD addresses WWH – What’s the (clear) obj., Why I need it & How to use it in class NOW? Practical and relevant #edchat

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:

How can we get more administrators to embrace the conference model for PD OR
If we work backwards from the goal to the type of PD we need to meet these objectives, what are some areas of PD do teachers need to have to support their students’ learning while staying true to their own passions and interest?

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here

As ever, there were some great links shared:

L_Hilt:  #edchat Include autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Teacher-led. Inspire them and they will deliver. http://bit.ly/gvCFon

todd_beach:  The first post for ‘Relentless Teaching’ – “How’s Your Feedback?” http://bit.ly/hOhS7t

onealchris:  @tomwhitby #edchat I’m trying to restructure my mandated “workshops” for principals – http://leaders.wikispaces.com

MissCheska:  @seamgreen 50 Open Courses on Teaching w/ Tech http://bit.ly/h0bODs

MissCheska:  @seamgreen PBS Online Teacher PD Line http://to.pbs.org/g7EhHh  #edchat #edtech

KaarenThompson:   #edchat an article I wrote about effective PD – would love some commentary http://ow.ly/3hC8H more an article on planning effective PD , still love feedback

bhsprincipal:  @mctownsley Here is our feedback from staff on the unconference model http://bit.ly/bXKBCF

dancallahan:  I wrote about what #edcamp has to teach us about PD http://bit.ly/bmaWwK  last week

carolynstarkey:  Study Points to Fewer ‘Dropout Factory’ #Schools http://t.co/EqQF6OC  via @educationweek #edchat #education

nancyrubin:  Twitter as a professional development tool http://janeknight.typepad.com/socialmedia/2010/11/twitter-as-.html

mrgypton:  L_Hilt: #edchat Include autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Teacher-led. http://bit.ly/gvCFon   & http://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc

cybraryman1:  My Professional Development page (making PD more meaningful…): http://bit.ly/9qnKKK

vickicobb: Teach science with little know facts about daily life. http://bit.ly/bUzVx6

Janshs:  more thoughts on teacher PD – what’s the next step… http://t.co/ymVPzXM

rkiker:  @ShellTerrell @drdouggreen http://bit.ly/c9zFtc  Some ideas

neilstephenson:  Our entire PD framework is reflective: http://bit.ly/8z2Mss and collaborative: http://bit.ly/9QFZCo

daveandcori:  Some professional development ideas – http://goo.gl/bhVO

vickicobb:  How ’bout teachers learning from award-winning authors? Fun! http://inkthinktank.com  Look at authors on call via videoconferencing. #edchat

berkshirecat:  Allow time to pursue grants/interests. It’s not superlative. http://bit.ly/f0s4sy

cybraryman1: Great PD: My EdCamp/TeachMeet page: http://bit.ly/dg1Jsk  Ed Chats: http://bit.ly/cTpYFk

Shawn_Holloway:  good leadership article via @AndreaRichman29 http://bit.ly/9hocBA  #edchat #iowa1to1

CliveSir:  Your website has some of the best PD for teachers #edchat http://bit.ly/3FbQax| he gets my EB vote 🙂

ShellTerrell:  Free professional development webinars every Friday! Invite a friend! http://on.fb.me/dJkcSv


I am a K-5 technology teacher at an independent school in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. This is only my third year of a job that I fortunately fell into. Being a technology teacher and facilitator is not something I would have ever thought I would be. I am completely self-taught, knowing not much beyond email and internet when I began this job in 2008. I have been fortunate to have the time to spend learning about all of the tools and trying them out. Since joining twitter a year ago (@teacherdebra), my learning has increased tenfold. I cannot say enough how valuable twitter and my pln has been to my own as well as my students’ learning. We have benefited immensely. Here is a link to my wiki, my student’s wiki and the livebinder of resources I use with my students.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!


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