Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Professional Development...

Happy Wednesday!  You know that today I am linking up with all the wonderful working mom's I've "met" through...

Today's do you stay current in your field of expertise?

I love that word...expertise!  In the education world, staying current is called Professional Development.  It's interesting because in the job I have, my responsibility is helping teachers stay current.  I may have shared this before, but I am no longer a classroom teacher {I was for 8 years} I am now and Instructional Coach.  The best way to describe this role is to have you think about the coach for any athletic role is pretty varied.  I coach teachers, usually around personal goals they have set.

In order to be an effective Instructional Coach, I really have to be on top of my game.  There are a few ways that I stay current in educational research and practice...
  • Workshops and Conferences...whenever I can, I convince my principal to send me to a workshop or conference and sometimes I send myself.  This doesn't always involve travel though occasionally I am gone for a couple of days.  The best part about a workshop or conference is devoting some concentrated time to a new idea or refining a current practice.  I can then take what I learn back to my building and share it with the staff.
  • Reading...I belong to a couple of professional organizations and receive their monthly journals which I read, though usually not cover to cover {I do read the articles that are most relevant and save the journal}  I also read a crazy number of professional books each year.  Administrators and other coaches frequently recommend books or I pick new ones up at workshops.  Typically, I am involved in a book study where a group reads the book and together determines how we'll use the new information.  It works well for me to read a book with the teachers I coach, because we are able to implement new ideas together.
  • Collaboration...In my school district students arrive at school an hour later on Thursday mornings.  Pair that with the staff arriving a half hour earlier, and we have time to collaborate weekly.  Often I faciltiate these collaborations...since I'm the coach...and we try to be very specific about how we use the time to maximize the benefit to students.  If you were at collaboration tomorrow you would learn all about formative assessment, how we are using our current resources to formatively assess our kids and what pieces we're going to add.
  • New Degrees / Certification...this is much bigger than the previous categories as it's a huge time commitment.  However, I believe that we're always learning and growing.  I got my Masters degree 9 years ago and complete my National Board certification two years ago.  I am doing the research now to decide which university/program I want to attend for my doctorate.  {I'd really like to complete my doctorate before my oldest is in college...I can study and watch soccer games...right?}
This is an interesting prompt to think about because staying current in our field is so important, but for most working mom's is another ball to add to the juggling.  I'm do you allot time to staying current in your field?  Let me know...

1 comment:

  1. it's tough! b/c when i get home from work, I don't want to do anything work related, and that even includes reading!! i just want to relax my mind!! it's hard to find the time. which is why i even have trouble reading the 10 pages a day that i want to read.


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