Don’t Wait for Professional Development, Do It Yourself!

How often have you heard teachers lament that their districts don’t train them on anything? Or venting that they’re expected to implement a new initiative without any additional training. I’ll admit it, I’ve been guilty of that myself. However, complaining doesn’t solve anything. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for venting. I could probably teach a graduate level course on it. But, we need to move past the complaining and the venting if we want to see real change.

So what do you do if you feel you’re not getting the training you need? The answer is quite simple. Train yourself. It’s not necessary to shell out the big bucks for an expensive conference. Although, I’ve loved everyone I’ve ever attended. You just need to tap into the expertise of colleagues, join a professional organization or two, take a class, and dare I say it, READ A PROFESSIONAL BOOK. Yes, I realize I was shouting on that last one. It just surprises me (quite frankly it irritates the heck out of me) how many teachers don’t seem to want to read a book in order to improve their craft. Over the next couple of posts I will share with you how I’m creating my own professional development. I’ll share my online resources, professional readings, professional organizations, and favorite ways to learn and get college credit. I’ll share in no particular order, so you’ll just have to relax and enjoy the ride right along with me.

As I begin my summer professional development I will be reading and reviewing for you Teach Like a Pirate, PBL in the Elementary Grades, The Core Six Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence with the Common Core, Less Stress for Teachers More Time & An Organized Classroom, and Math Sense The Look, Sound, and Feel of Effective Instruction. This reading list will encompass the bulk of my summer PD. Though, as I mentioned earlier, I’ll share the other forms of my professional development as well.

So, for now I’ll leave you with this quote I found on by Kristen Swanson, teacher and Edcamper.

When professional development is created ‘for teachers by teachers,’ everyone wins.


5 thoughts on “Don’t Wait for Professional Development, Do It Yourself!

  1. Love your thoughts, Deb! I think the most meaningful form of PD is decided by ourselves because we choose it and therefore we have more interest in putting our time into it. I have a pile of books for this summer as well!

    • Jennifer, thank you so much for the kind words and for being my very first comment. I just started following you on Twitter and look to get more involved with the Twitter chats and reading everyone’s blogs in the #10summerblogs challenge. I’ll be checking out your blog posts as well.

  2. My post today on my blog was about this same topic. I am also amazed at how many teachers don’t read books to improve their teaching or even to learn something new. I am glad we are on the same page. I look forward to reading your future posts!

    • Leigh Anne, it’s nice to know others are addicted to professional books as well. I stopped by your blog and it’s amazing. I’ve read Note and Notice and it is really good. I love how you posted a picture of what you’re reading. You have several titles that I am now interested in as well. I signed up to follow your blog and will be devoting a good chunk of time in reading it.

      • Thanks for your kind words. I have been blogging for a little over a year now and it has completely changed my teaching life. I am trying to write more from a teacher’s perspective instead of just a reader and a writer, but I am finding out that is a little more difficult. Thanks for stopping by.

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