What do you think of when you hear the words professional development?

I sent this question out to my PLN on Twitter and here are some of the replies I received:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/hechternacht/status/101843908455178241″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/betsymck/status/101845454865707008″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/mrwickersham/status/101849001594327041″]

Sad, isn’t it?  Teachers are not slackers.  We are hard working.  So when we are put into situations where PD doesn’t “DO it” for us, we feel like we are wasting very precious time.  Professional Development needs to be meaningful to us so that we can use it to better our teaching and affect our students.

They say teachers are the worst students, but I have a different perspective.  See, like our students we need engagement and activity.  If we are to learn, we need to be involved.  Sure, there is a place for lecture and learning from an expert, but even when that is the focus, there needs to be active participation from the attendees, the teachers, us!

Next week The Inspired Classroom will be kicking off a new venture in professional development – a teacher retreat.  This PD is not lecture or presentation based, it is teacher-centered.  Teachers will be the focus as they experience and learn new skills for themselves and work to adapt the ideas to their own teaching situations.  This retreat is based in the arts as teachers will be learning new skills in visual art, music, poetry and drama.  It is hands-on so teachers will be engaged the entire time.  It is reflective so teachers will have the opportunity to think about and adapt their new findings to what they will bring to their students in the fall.

As one teacher from my PLN tweeted about PD:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/lookforsun/status/101846275665821696″]

Now THAT’S the ticket.  That’s what PD is all about.

And I’d like to take it a step further.  If you have a moment, scroll up to the top of the website and see our motto: Get Inspired, Be Inspiring.   That is always the focus here, the drive behind writing posts, organizing events, and presenting ideas to get teachers (including myself) inspired so that we can be inspiring to our students.

Teaching is an art form in and of itself and to get better at it we need to constantly learn and grow.  I am very much looking forward to working with teachers next week at the retreat and blogging about our experiences together as we work on our craft through hands-on, engaging work.

So, now I’m curious to hear your ideas.  Please add a comment and finish this sentence:

Effective professional development needs to be __________________________.


For more information about the Teacher Art Retreat, visit the tab devoted to this great PD event!  (or click the words)