I finished reading Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development by Jason Bretzmann. It was great and clarified some more of my thinking about the role a teacher must play in his/her personal professional learning. I continued on with my day, meeting with principals, talking to teachers, organizing upcoming events and so on. But something felt off. Something was bugging me. I finally figured out what it was. And it’s kind of dangerous. I was missing having something professional to read. My brain was seeking a reengagement in that learning opportunity. Yikes. As I’ve said before, I use Kindle Cloud Reader, which is open as a tab in Chrome. When I have a couple of minutes, I tab over and pick up reading where I left off. Among emails. Phone calls. Face to face meetings. That feeling of missing being involved in ongoing, sustained professional thinking and learning hadn’t happened in a long time. I was too busy doing my profession as an administrator and teacher to learn about being better at my profession, learning more about my profession, growing in my profession. And it was too much work to find stuff to think about. And way too tough to find people with whom to talk about it.
This reminds me how very difficult it is in our schools for teachers and administrators to read, think, stew, marinate, reflect, and grow. We need to help educational leaders in the classroom and buildings find the time to read and reflect. And having written those words, I further realize, we need to highlight the reasons and the methods for reading and finding time. If the case is made so clearly that educational leaders are just clicks away from learning and growing, in ways that weren’t conceivable earlier in their careers….they’ll find the time.
To scratch the learning itch that I recognized as being dangerous, I am now reading What Connected Educators Do Differently by Todd Whitaker, Jeffrey Zoul, Jimmy Casas. It’s already excellent and my learning juices are flowing again. Whew.
Here’s one of the very first quotes from the book,
“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”
That quote leads to this thought from the authors, “One key learning we took away applies to the quotation that introduces this chapter: the time for educators to start connecting to a larger personal learning network—if you did not already embark upon this 20 years ago—is now. There is simply too much to be gained—and nothing to lose—to not begin connecting with educators around the world who share your passion about this noble profession that is education.”
We can make the case for our busy colleagues that new learning is so close at hand. Just waiting to be accessed.
Let’s make the time. It’s fun to be dangerous in our learning and growing.
Fife School District
39 years as an educator.
16 years teacher
3 years assistant principal
12 years principal
8 years Assistant Superintendent
BA, Washington State University
MAEd, Washington State University
Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee
Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification
Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years
Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining.
Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition
Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years.
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