The Professional Development Discussion List
I was going to type out all of my ideas for new things to discuss with my co-department chair in Word, but then I had the brilliant realization that they could be of use to other people as well, or at least should be editable on the fly from other computers. I could cross things out as we talk about them or add things as we go. Isn’t technology grand.
- Using Glypho and QuickMuse in the classroom.
- Talking about writing “myths” we perpetuate: Myth 1, Myth 2, Myth 3, Myth 4
- Setting up a Professional Development blog in order to ask questions and get authentic reflection from the group anonomously (i.e., The Fischbowl)
- Getting more student input into staff development (impetus for the idea: Take your student to staff development day).
Creating a digital bookshelf of teacher books (i.e., Tim Fredrick’s LA Bookshelf).
Having a state of the union type e-mail or RSS feed for the LA department.
- Changing the focus from what teachers want to what students want in the classroom? (Is this positive or negative)
Producing our Curriculum Map on a easily editable Wiki. Including resources. For example, Thurgood Marshal Academy’s Wiki. Perhaps Writely or another online text editor could be of help here.
Bringing in thought provoking texts (articles, books, blogs) that will help us define our guiding questions for each unit or our essential questions for the whole curriculum. Such blog entries are here and here.
- Middle of the year.
- This is where we are; This is where we need to go.
Having a school-wide cool book wiki for recommending books to each other. This could also be done by ning.com.
Setting personal (professional) goals for department members (a la Karl Fisch’s goals and action plans). Belief statements or Man/Womanefestos should be a part of this and/or the discussion of essential questions. Good examples here.
Using or teaching students to use web applications (specifically Microsoft Office substitutes) in the classroom. Go here for more info.
Reintroduce the gender literacy gap as a topic for discussion (maybe as a fold-in to our AR discussion). I like this resource.
Getting the less eager members of the department excited about new technology with simple guides and introductions like these.
Can we change AR books to SSR books. Here is an interesting discussion on the topic from another Colorado teacher.
How can we push one another to be the best teachers we can without offending anyone? Karl Fisch took this topic on with some great results.
- Is it just a case of semantics?
- How can we bring more books and reading into the fold?
- How can we get our students to just pick up another book after they are done with the current one?