“Outtakes”. A snippet of thoughts to kick off this blog post:
Professional learning is a critical part of continuous improvement. This is a snapshot of the morning session with the Science department.
What I am looking forward to putting into practice, or continuing:
I can not wait to get together with colleagues to process the work that was done during this PL session and discuss next steps to continue the great work that has done up to this point.
Quote(s) that resonated with me this week:
We teach humans (kids), not just content. Remember to build relationships.
“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” ~ Harley Davidson
This week will consist of a look at the morning professional learning experience from Friday, 2/16. This topic is not part of a series, but I did do a reflection on our November PL Day as well, which you can check out, here. I do feel strongly that quality professional learning/development is a good way to keep staff inspired, foster growth, and continuously improve, which ultimately results in an improved experience for our students.
During the morning session, I worked with the Science department to continue the ongoing discussion of NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) and how they will influence short term and long term future planning. We began with a share-out from one of our staff members, Jenny Chieda, who recently attended a state-level workshop. Her report was a broad overview that was well received and supported the work that we would be doing that morning. Next, we viewed a couple of quick motivational science videos. They each had their own purpose to inspire as well as take a glance at what the future of science holds. Please feel free to check them out below, I believe you will be inspired as well!
STEM Motivational Video:
Science is Everywhere:
Before beginning the intense dive into documents, resources, and discussions, we spent a few minutes sharing what each teacher was most proud of over the course of the school year up to this point. To keep it anonymous and not put anyone on the spot we used the site, Menti. Teachers were able to enter their own “celebrations” through their devices and responses were displayed on the Smartboard at the front of the room. Teachers could enter as many responses as they would like and they ranged from “coffee” to “curriculum” but the coolest part of this exercise was when a word cloud was created with all of the responses, and “students” was largely displayed in the center. This was not intentional but it could not have been scripted any better! It reinforces why our teachers do what they do on a daily basis and why they love their work (they can not be “thanked” enough, but, “thank you”!).
As teachers transitioned into their work, they had an opportunity to “think” about their discipline and review many resources that would help them formulate their thoughts before “pairing” up with course alike colleagues. Conversations were rich and the running document that staff were recording their thoughts in was populating rapidly. After a quick break, we came back and had a quick “brain boost” with the activity, “Gotcha”. The whole group participated, laughed, and had a good time while refocusing on the remainder of the session. This was also role-modeling the importance of incorporating brain boosts, or brain breaks, into their classes on a consistent basis.
After a whole group “share” to hear perspectives from the different Science sub-groups (Bio, Chem, Earth, & Physics), we transitioned to our final activity, the “Back to the Future” protocol. The goal of this activity was to “place” teachers in 2025 to consider how the program has evolved, what experiences the students are having in their classes, what the program “looked like” in 2018, and finally, how they got there. The discussions were thoughtful, provocative, and I believe solidified the foundation for the work that will need to happen as we move forward in real-time.
My favorite part of the morning happened when staff were “dismissed” for lunch. While, I would have loved more time to continue the protocol, and having run workshops and presentations many times in the past, I know to stick to an agenda timeline and never go over time, especially when it runs into lunch. As the clock wound down and representatives from each group hung their response posters along a wall, we broke for lunch. Except, no one left. They all stayed, for several minutes, and read each other’s work, almost like a gallery walk. Having worked with this group before, I was not surprised with their professionalism, but I was impressed and proud to work with them!
After lunch, we listened to a technology keynote by Bill Deery to set the tone for the afternoon sessions that staff had to choose from. My intent is not to shortchange the afternoon session, but the plan for this blog post was to focus on the a.m. experience. Overall, it was a productive afternoon, and day, all around...
Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. Have a great week!
Tags: #NGSS, #brainboost, #brainbreak, #Science
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Here are a few pictures from the professional learning sessions on Friday, 2/16/18:
Not surprisingly, “students” were at the center as teachers reflected on “celebrations” over the course of the school year!
A look at the outcomes that teachers were looking forward to achieving during the morning session:
Breakout groups at work with the Back to the Future activity:
Brainstorm reflections from 2025, 2018, and how we “got there”:
Caring professionals doing what caring professionals do, checking out each other's work on the gallery walk!
A few snaps from the afternoon session: