Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why I Love Professional Development

Happy November!  The Christmas season (my favorite season) is drawing closer!  I used to be a Christmas purist, who refused to acknowledge the Christmas season until Thanksgiving had come and gone, but now that I teach A Christmas Carol as my core text for the second quarter, I wholeheartedly jump into the Christmas spirit right after Halloween.  This is a season of sparkly decorations and fun times with friends and holiday drinks at Starbucks, and I am a fan.

I'm also a fan of professional development.  Yes.  I said it.  I love professional development.  Now, I'm not necessarily talking about the mind-numbing, sleep inducing, turn-down-the-lights-and-show-a-PowerPoint professional development that all teachers have to attend at some point in their careers.  I'm talking more about the kind of professional development that allows teachers from different places to meet, share, and have discourse about how they improve learning for their students.

Last week on Thursday and Friday, I had the opportunity to attend and present at the Arkansas Curriculum Conference in Little Rock.  I had the opportunity to listen to some awesome teachers,  preservice teachers, university faculty, and authors talk about things they are doing to help students learn.  It was so refreshing to listen to people who are so fired up and passionate about what they are doing each day.  It's easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, and I think it's really important to rekindle that fire and passion for our profession.  I also think it's really important to share what's working in my own classroom with others who may also find success with it in their own schools.

I shared some of the technology tools that I use in my own classroom in a session I presented with Dr. Michael Mills from UCA.  I also have to give credit to the awesome media specialist at my school, Jacqueline Vergason, for introducing me to some of the sites in this Live Binder.  Feel free to use any of these sites, and if you have questions, send me a message! I'd love to learn how you plan to use these technology tools in your own classroom, or answer questions about how I've used them with my students.

ACC was a good reminder to me that it's important to share knowledge with our colleagues, not just our students.  Let's spread some Christmas season love by sharing our professional practice with those in our buildings, by problem solving together, and by being better teachers tomorrow than we were today.

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