This past week I had the opportunity to present four education sessions at the MTA (Massachusetts Teachers Association) summer conference at UMASS in Amherst, MA. When I present at conferences I try to stick to themes and ideas and create ‘what can teachers/administrators use immediately’ types of sessions. I know as an educator, those types of sessions, articles and ideas are what are the most applicable to me. Basically, ideas and activities that can make me better at teaching IMMEDIATELY.
This idea was reinforced for me by this article written by Dave Powell. The entire article is great, but this excerpt really says it all…
“The truth is that teacher educators are teachers too, and the central acts of teaching—being well organized, preparing assiduously, making genuine efforts to know and connect with your students, just to name a few—are the same in colleges and universities as they are in K-12 schools. Good ones have plenty of practical knowledge to share with their students. Bad ones aren’t going to get much out of going back to school anyway…”
As you start looking at your 2017-2018 school year’s professional development opportunities, start to look for professional development that will be practical to make you a better educator. Look for some conferences and/or professional development chances that allow you get some immediate takeaways. Events that remove some of the theory and insert a lot of the “apply immediately” to your classroom tool kit.
As we are given more demands as educators, we are removed further and further from what I believe to be of the MOST important aspects of what we do… building positive relationships with kids!