Make it Social:
- Create a Pinterest Board or Facebook Group for teachers to post resources they love.
- Set up a coffee chat book or article share, or establish a reading nook for teachers in the teachers’ lounge or library.
- Dedicate a physical space where teachers can post what’s on their shelves for professional reading.
- Find social PD opportunities in your local community. For example, where I am in NYC, the NY Historical Society hosts a regular professional learning series with pizza and wine for teachers, either free or significantly reduced. EdCamps are also fun, social “unconference”-style PD events.
- As you make observations and classroom visits, make note of innovative practices in action. Ask these teachers to share a noteworthy practice in faculty meetings or the Facebook/Pinterest space.
- Focus the spring on teachers observing teachers, taking the focus of observations from evaluative to inspirational. Create a list of teacher trailbrazers to observe matched with PD outcomes and a place for observers to share what they most valued or noticed from their observations. This can be done in the social space created or a Padlet board where teachers can offer shout-outs and tips they gained.
Catch & Share
- Take the time to share the innovative practices you spot by capturing them in action. If your school has a social media feed, send pictures or video to the social media manager to post innovative, engaging teaching practices.
- Consider a positive “Caught in the Act” share space in the teachers’ lounge or the online social space where you can share innovative practices you spot.
Focus on Engagement & Personalization
- As the school year winds down, offer more engaging PD experiences by focusing on hands-on, collaborative, or personalized PD.
- Allow for teacher to choose their focus as much as possible, providing resources that enable such choice such as an online PD platform with a variety of experiences.
- Use the school’s LMS or a PD platform to allow for learning to continue into the summer at a self-selected pace. Some tools, such as the Redbird Professional Learning Platform we use at my school, offer a social component which engages teachers in conversation and motivates users through a point incentive system.