Professional Development – The Other Side

Since last March, I have been presenting at professional development events and I am becoming more and more comfortable with being on the other side of the table.  When it comes to the PD I present with my partner about Common Core and technology we us in our classroom, we continue to get better and with that we are noticing some things. Last night we led more professional development on Common Core Implementation and technology.

As I finished up last night with my brilliant Partner and our wonderful writing project site director, we discussed how different each group of adults have been.  When I presented Common Core with my partner last summer, she found on the first day the participants were thirsting for knowledge about the Common Core and they wanted to understand it better.  As we condensed it down last night to three hours instead of two days, we found last night’s group not as receptive to the Common Core.  We didn’t change our approach to how we were presenting it at all.  Our participants last night were more interested in the Google Doc side of things, rather than the Common Core piece.  It will be interesting in February when we do a one day presentation.

Common Core is important and it is here!  In our region, we know it isn’t going away. So, why was last night’s group not as interested in Common Core?  Being the learner when we chose PD, we know what we are signing up for when it comes to professional development.  Well, at least the PD we do get to choose.

Why did the group in the summer want to investigate the Common Core more than last nights group?  Is the content riveting and full of excitement?  Not exactly, but I feel my partner and I do a solid job of presenting our material and we do improve our content and our delivery each time.

The fact of the matter is, we all learn differently, even as adults.  What works well for one group, doesn’t always work well for another group. A lesson that should be taken into serious consideration when it comes to the students in our classroom.  Every individual and every group of children we come in contact with learn differently and have different needs.  The reality is some groups need you to go step-by-step.  Other groups want you to let them go and play, be less restrictive, and let them explore what is being learned.  They want you more as a guide, not as an instructor.

My partner and I have more professional development presentations before us and I know we will keep this into consideration.  The great thing is we are both very flexible and are able to go with the flow and change direction if we need to.  As far as being in the classroom, we need to be willing to consider our audience and remember that what works from one year isn’t always going to work for the next.  Heck, it may not even work from hour to hour!


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