Reflections on a PD Day
I know it might not seem like such a big deal, but I was truly inspired by the conversations that were had last Friday, talking about the Leader in Me, Principle-Centred Decision Making, and the New Report Card. As I started picking away at the Ed Plan this weekend, I went back to the points that were generated from those discussions, and realized what a landmine of ideas there were! People are thinking about how they can make Advisory into a venue for Social Action. One group thought they might involve students in looking at curriculum and planning the activities for the year or for a unit. How exciting to think our students might have the opportunity to figure out what they will need to do in order to achieve their learner outcomes. I loved the idea of having more assemblies throughout the year to recognize students for their emulation of the 7 Habits or for their leadership contributions. I then wondered if we might do the same thing with our Fusion Friday news. Perhaps you could nominate each other for all the great things you do for a little highlight in our weekly missive. I also loved the idea of having a monthly focus on different staff members visible in the hallways so people could get to know each other better. Middle years teachers are talking about implementing House Teams (yes, think Harry Potter, but without the wizardry) to bring students together and give them the chance to plan schoolwide activities.
I thought about Amanda’s request to have a buddy class this year, and wondered if we might pair classes up at the beginning of the year so we can build collaborative time for teachers into the schedule for the year. We could plan activities that go beyond the traditional reading buddies. I know that Ben does Storybird with his students, which is an online program where students can choose some artwork and then build a story around those images. I’m sure Fran has at least 1000 ideas about how technology could be used to support that kind of engagement. I’m also thinking that there are all sorts of math activities that could be done during that time. So much bang for our buck here: build relationships, give teachers a chance to collaborate, focus on numeracy and literacy…
I also really appreciated the honest talk about principle-centered decision making. I think what really came out for me was how important trust is to make something like that work. If we always come back to trying to do what’s best for kids, and trusting that we are all at least on that starting page, I don’t think we can go wrong. We might disagree about the appropriate length of a skirt, or when students should be allowed to use their iPods in class, but I think we can work through those differences and still be supportive of one another.
Anyway, thanks for the day.