Posted on October 23, 2011
In a period of three weeks, our teachers have been immersed in some very engaging professional development! Snapshot images: Meeting as an entire school faculty to discuss curricular concepts and thinking skills. Attending presentations by colleagues on teaching strategies. Reggio Emilia psychologist-researcher Dr. George Forman working alongside the preschool team in the classroom. The elementary faculty with literacy specialist Dr. Lynette Emmons. Teaching demonstrations, observations, and collegial discussions. Such enriching learning among colleagues and with experts. I invite you to visit two recent blogs that best capture the impact of quality professional development and what it looks like. Multiage 1-2 teacher Donna Revard explains her sense of empowerment working with Dr. Emmons in http://www.midpac.edu/elementary/1_2R. Kindergarten teacher Jen Matsumoto describes an application of the thinking routine "See Think Wonder" with her students and is impressed by their ability to pose interesting questions in http://www.midpac.edu/elementary/KM. The teachers have gotten their second wind and are inspired again!
I'm inclined to direct you to two more blogs written by M 3-4 teachers Torry Montes and Lucy Sanders whose narratives of their students' experience in Waimea Valley so aptly capture the excitement of the children's learning. See http://www.midpac.edu/elementary/3_4M and http;//www.midpac.edu/elementary/3_4S. You will be saying to yourself: I wish I could be in elementary school again!
I have one more comment to share about our notion of professional development. It would be misleading to have you think that professional development are special events when teachers attend workshops or are able to work directly with consultants (yes, they are indeed fortunate to rub shoulders with notable teacher-researchers!). Meaningful professional development is when teachers meet, often informally, to have professional conversations about their practice in study groups, analyze student work, or participate as learners in an instructional event. There is a culture of professional exchange among the faculty, and they thrive in these learning communities, similar to their students.
As I've said before, Mid-Pacific is not just any place.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey
Reminder: Spooktivity this Friday, October 28, from 12:45 to 2:15pm. Don a costume.
This is the last week to exchange incandescent bulbs for CFLs. Ask a relative or neighbor about exchanging bulbs.