Thursday, 27 October 2011

PD shouldn't be an event.....or should it?

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by AdamSelwood

Last night an interesting article came across my tweet stream titled PD shouldn't be an event.  I must admit that this intrigued me and I took a look.  I had a brief read last night at about 10:30pm but I wasn't exactly thinking clearly.  I added it to my bookmarks and thought that I would take a better look in the morning.  I am glad that I took a look because it certainly stimulated my thoughts.  I really liked some of the things that the author of the article (and I can't seem to find their name) has to say but not sure about some of the others.

One statement that I certainly agree with is:

Professional development is a frame of mind.  As a professional, I don't decide when I' going to "DO" PD because it happens in many different ways and different times.

The part about professional development being a state of mind really resonated with me.  I am constantly looking to grow as a professional and interact with others.  These interactions helps shape me and grow me professionally.  I find it hilarious that at the end of every PD I receive a certificate.  Whilst I appreciate the acknowledgement of my attendance and I need it for my QCOT registration purposes, I am not in it for the piece of paper.  I am in it for the learning and for the benefits that my kids.  Some of my most stimulating PD has come from a professional discussion with a colleague or a debate on Twitter.

The methodology on how PD is delivered has certainly changed throughout my 11 years of teaching.  When I first started teaching, the only PD model that was 'doable' was face to face.  Off we trudged to a venue, sat in a large group, got lectured to, broke off for 'little lunch', come back into smaller groups and repeated the cycle again after 'big lunch'.  It worked and in my opinion is still the best method of delivery.  As much as I enjoy interacting with experts and people from around the world, being able to look the person imparting their wisdom onto you in the eye will always outweigh sitting in front of a screen.

The thing that I love the most about our connected world is that I don't have to wait for these events to occur.  At anytime I can be attending a conference via a backchannel, watching a recording in my own time and I can engage with professional discussions about what I have learnt in a non threatening way.

So where am I going with this? If you are just attending PD for the new shinny toy or the awesome lunch that you may get, you will never grow as a professional and demonstrate the characteristics that we want for our kids - a passion for lifelong development. We owe it to ourselves and our kids to seek out opportunities to interact with each other and grow together.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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1 comment:

  1. Well Ashley - you know I am a PD junkie ;p I still prefer the face to face conference myself with the attendance certificate at the end. Yes the learning itself is more important and I do a great deal of my learning journey here online. Having said that there really is something to that connectedness you feel when you are face to face at a PD event. You get to make that personal connection with the presenters. You feel important and valued as you connect with these people on a personal level. This I feel is something our students feel when they are working with us in classroom situations (sometimes they don't too). However we offered them on PD online it is a safe place to take risks and throw out to the crowd for feedback. So I think there should be a balance and a mix to ensure there's a good fit for each individual. Some people will get more out of the face to face and others will get more out of online PD - some might even get more out of reading hard copies and writing responses (oohhhh) :)