Sunday, March 20, 2016
PD is Getting Personal
In my building, I began by planning edcamp style staff meetings (thanks to a MESPA colleague, Sandra Trach from Lexington), where teachers set up sessions and others signed up:
EdcampNQ went off amazingly well, and again, not because of me but because of the people who came and the expertise and passions they shared. All I did was create the time and space for it to happen. It felt awkward when participants thanked me afterwards, as I felt that my role was small and it was me who wanted to thank them. Educators who gave up time with families on a Saturday to better their practice and make their classrooms and schools a better place for students. Every day I am honored to work with such caring and compassionate educators, and Saturday I truly felt humbled to bring them together and celebrate them. They are going back to their schools on Monday better than on Friday and I am sure they are not only going to make their classrooms better places for learning but they are going to in turn bring that energy back and make their schools better. Energy and enthusiasm like what I felt on Saturday cannot be ignored, it's contagious.
I have always felt that my primary job is to be the model of what I expect from staff. I would never ask my staff to do anything that I wouldn't do myself. Currently we are asking staff to not be the "sage on the stage" but rather the facilitator of learning. As leaders we should be asking ourselves if we are regularly modeling expectations in our staff meetings, PD, and committee work. I would challenge all school leaders to at some point this year to step back and let go, just create the time and space for educators to work. I will admit, it initially is an awkward feeling, especially for leaders who are so accustomed to leading by creating agendas, speaking at length, then making decisions. You may just find that you can let go, the agenda items still get taken care of, and this way is a lot more fun!