graphic by athgo.org
Over time I have realized the power in staff embedded PD. I have tried to move away from a large group presentation style of PD. Just like our students need differentiated instruction – our staff have the same needs. I have enjoyed working on using a strategic approach to staff development. Gone are the days of mass staff development with a stand and deliver mindset.
This year we used a designed thinking idea creating various thinking hubs on Google+. This idea was brought about by our Innovation Team. While the idea is still green for some as a division leader I will jump into the Google+ hangouts in the evenings or over a weekend and read what folks are listing. It can be incredibly valuable and give me some insight in where our early initiators mindset is headed. I realize there are others who are not engaging in this way to communicate but I see it as a valuable tool to hear from especially some of my softer voices in the school who choose to use a social media type of outcome. Here is how we shared the Idea Hub:
I also value the work instructional coaches do and while it is different from an administrator, they are still a set of ears in the trench that can help point out needs in the school and help navigate my pathway. While we work separately with teachers, I value their input as they can share a macro and micro level viewpoint about our school.
We just finished meeting with all our faculty and my hope is to take an idea like George Couros where you have 1:1 meetings with staff and turn it into a mass sharing. For instance, our Service Learning Coordinator would like to build student leadership in the school and we plan to create a Foundation to raise money for crisis that happen in the world. We plan to create a student board to decide where the funds will go, this was a goal of hers for this school year. We will tweet what she plans to do and how she plans to begin to create a larger and broader understanding of building student leadership.
I would like to move forward as a staff on twitter. It is a quick way to hear what is going on in the building and gathering some soundbites. We have a small group using this forum but I plan to look for opportunities to grow it. I look forward to trying it out this week.