‘Tis the Season for Professional Learning

April 4, 2018 No Comments

‘Tis the Season for Professional Learning

April 4, 2018 No Comments

It’s already the beginning of April and I can’t even begin to explain what an exciting time the past six to eight weeks have been for me.  My last blog post was posted right before Valentine’s Day and I’ve been seemingly absent from blogging and social media since then.  But don’t take that as my being lazy (although, there might have been a few of those days).  I have been extremely busy planning and attending some amazing professional conferences and professional learning experiences.

In just the last few weeks, I helped to throw the biggest professional learning party in my district (ECET2Lou), facilitated a virtual learning session for some teachers over Google Suite for Education in the classroom, attended and presented at the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KYSTE) conference, hosted a Google professional learning community at my school, and attended and presented at the Derby City Google Summit by EdTechTeam.  It’s been a wild February and March.  I have learned so much in the past few weeks and it has, once again, reignited my passion for this job.

If you’re a teacher, you should LOVE professional learning.  But far too often, I hear teachers complain that they have to go to PD.  It breaks my heart.  Lifelong learning is something that many educators want to instill in their students, but they don’t’ often model a learning lifestyle.  I am of the notion that you can and will learn something new every day, which helps me in the classroom and at home!

Professional development, or professional learning, has gotten a bad rap for far too long.  It’s probably because we come from an era of sit-and-get, though I’ve rarely attended one of these as of late.  Professional learning has come a long way and there are many reasons why you should love it!

1.  You get to learn new stuff. 

I got into the teaching business because I love to learn.  I wanted to share my love of learning with another generation.  My favorite part of professional learning is that I get to learn new things.  I am always searching for new strategies and tools to add to my metaphorical teaching backpack.  Most districts require teachers to get a certain number of professional development hours, so take that opportunity to pick sessions that you want to attend and will help you in the classroom.  Interested in learning more about how to integrate educational technology into your practice?  Seek out EdTech conferences like the EdTechTeam summits.  Want to start a discussion over a problem of practice you’re having?  Find an EdCamp and create your own session. 

Keep in mind that professional development doesn’t have to be in-person either.  There are literally TONS of online opportunities from a variety of sources.  ASCD has free webinars listed on their website.  PBS Teacher Line has both facilitated and self-paced online courses.

I also recommended following some great podcasts.  I’ve recently gotten into podcasts and I don’t understand what took me so long!  If you’re into educational technology or innovative schools, check out the Google Teacher Tribe or Shifting Our Schools podcasts.  If you’re in school leadership, make sure to check out the Transformative Principal podcast.  Keep on the lookout for another blog post about my favorite podcasts coming soon!

I realize that sometimes there is mandatory professional learning that you can’t get out of, but take the opportunity to add something new to the conversation.  Participate and share while you’re there, as that’s where the true learning comes.

2.  You’re given the opportunity to network with other professionals and build your PLN.

If there’s one thing that’s expected in our profession of education, it’s collaboration.  It didn’t use to be this way, but the rise of a global community and professional learning communities means that you can’t afford NOT to collaborate.  What better way to do so than get out there and connect with others?

Let me preface this by saying, I understand all too well the social anxiety of getting out there and mingling with people.  But one of my all-time favorite professional learning moments was when I attended our district’s EdCamp and I finally got to meet all of my Twitter friends!  It’s a powerful thing to be in the same room with the best and the brightest.  Make the most of it and introduce yourself.  Your professional learning network (PLN) will be there when you need help in the classroom, motivation to press on, references for job interviews, and so much more!  You can read more about how to build your PLN in my blog post from last summer.

3.  You can sometimes get FREE stuff!

Almost every professional conference I’ve been to gives away door prizes.  At the EdTechTeam Summit I went to in March, they gave away two Google homes, a host of professional books and other prizes.  At the ECET2Lou conference in February, they gave away gift cards upon gift cards.  I’ve even been to conferences where they gave away printers, Smore subscriptions, and flat screen TVs – at FREE conferences!

And, if nothing else, you’ll probably get a sticker to put on your laptop.  Who doesn’t love stickers?

I hope you’ll find a true love of professional learning as a teacher.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times:  the world is changing.  It’s evolving quickly for us as adults and quicker for our students.  If we can’t find it in ourselves as adults and educators to be true lifelong learners and model that for our children, they will have a hard time navigating this world.  Take a step outside your comfort zone and learn something new this week.
Did I leave any good reasons off the list?  Why should teachers love professional learning? Drop me a comment below to let me know! 

sherylwoods

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About Me

Hi! My name is Sheryl and I am so thankful you've found your way to the TeacherLadyKY blog! I'm an elementary educator from Louisville, Kentucky who is passionate about building relationships and literacy skills with my students. I've taught everything from kindergarten to fifth grade and I can't wait to share my experiences with you! Enjoy! Read More

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  • This week's #bulletjournal setup. Usually, I do a day at a time, but after binge watching see @amandarachlee on YouTube this weekend, I thought I'd set it all up at once. One thing I love about my #bujo is that I can do WHATEVER I want, WHENEVER I want to. 😁
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#bulletjournals #bulletjournaling #bujoweeklyspread  #bujoideas #bujoinspiration #penguins
  • ⭐ D R E A M E R ⭐
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Honestly, there are so many good MLK, Jr. quotes, it was hard to choose just one. Instead of choosing one of his justice-oriented quotes (which are completely relevant at the moment and let's not forget that), I decided to go with this one.
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At the end of the day, all you have is your dreams. Don't let someone else take that you. Know what you want and make it manifest in your life.#besavagenotaverage #thebestisyettocome #teacherladyky .
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#teacherbsn #teacherblogger #teachersofinstagram  #mlkjrday #martinlutherkingjr #martinluutherkingjrquotes #mlkquotes #mondaymotivation #motivationalmonday #motivationalquotes #dreams #dreamers
  • A couple of nights ago, this sweet boy scared the crap out of us. He couldn't stand and, once he did stand, he just lobbed from side to side like he was unable to hold his balance. Then, as suddenly as it started, it was over. Five minutes at the most. .
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It's happened once before, months ago, and the vet who saw him a few hours after it happened said he checked out perfectly healthy. We think it's vertigo, but it happens so suddenly and goes so quickly, that it seems there's nothing we could do to stop it from happening.  I hate that I don't know when it will happen (or if it even will happen again) and I have there's nothing I can do for my sweet boy.
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Also, side note, be thankful that you can't smell through Instagram because this boy needs a BATH.
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#dogsofinstagram #instagramdogs #teacherladyky
  • I'm working on something for the blog that involves these babies. 😍 If you had told me five years ago that I'd be obsessed with dice, I would have laughed in your face. Oh, how things change.  I mean, how can you not be obsessed with something that comes in so many beautiful colors?
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#teachersofinstagram #iteach456 #teacherbsn #teacherlife #roleplayinggames #rpg #dungeonsanddragons #pathfinder #tabletopgames #polyhedraldice #dice #teacherladyky
  • S A T U R D A Y
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I've spent my morning doing lesson plans and working on some new TPT products. I have housework to do (so much housework to do), but I love a good laid back, productive Saturday morning and I wish every day could be this way.
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What are you doing on this dreary day? And, if you're local, what's your snow prediction? πŸ€”β„οΈπŸ€”β„οΈπŸ€”
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#teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #teacherinstagram #iteachtoo #iteachfifth #iteachfifthgrade #iteach456 #teacherpreneur #thebestisyettocome
  • You are not here to please someone else.  You are not here to fall into someone else's story, play someone else's sidekick, or help someone else achieve their dreams.  This life is YOUR story and it is your purpose to fulfill YOUR own dreams.
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If your dream is to serve others, then by all means, go do THAT.  But do not put their needs above your own.  If what is happening in your life doesn't align with the goals that you've set forth in your life, it's time to let it (or them) go.  You only purpose to be the best, most authentic version of you.  First, foremost, and always.
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#teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #thebestisyettocome #besavagenotaverage #youareabadass #jensincero #iteachtoo #quote #quotesofinstagram #instagramquotes #motivationalquotes #motivationmonday
  • *Trying to do report cards*
Crow: But, mom, it's windy outside and I'm scared...
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One day, I'm going to be able to stay home and work with him in my lap all day and I can't wait. #BeSavageNotAverage #thebestisyettocome
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  • β€’ G R O W I N G β€’
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I spent the majority of the day attending doctor's appointments and listening to Brendon Burchard's book, "High Performance Habits." Like I've mentioned before, I've been stuck lately and the first part of his book is about finding clarity in your life.
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I NEEDED to hear him tell the story of one of his clients who was great at what she did, but still felt stuck. It's hard not to feel guilty about admitting that what you're doing isn't what you want, especially when you've poured years of work and thousands of dollars to get there. That's where I'm at right now. I feel restless, unfulfilled, and uninspired.
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Let me be clear, I LOVE what I do. I love my job, my students, and my life. But something is off and it's not enough. I've been searching for a long time trying to figure out what it is and I am getting closer.  I AM a teacher, but so much more than that too. I am always learning, always growing, always working on my next great adventure. I hope you are too. #BeSavageNotAverage #thebestisyettocome
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#teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinsta #teachersofinstagram #teachersofIG #iteachtoo #iteach456 #highperformancehabits #brendonshow #gogetterspodcast #
  • What a day, y'all. I was expecting my fifth graders to be tired and dragging, but no such luck.  They met me in full force this morning and we went nonstop to 8:50 to 4:00.
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Honestly, I enjoyed my break and I was ready to delve into the some personal projects, so I dreaded heading back today.  I've got big goals and dreams for the future, but being with my kiddos was exactly what I needed. I love my job and, more importantly, I love my students. Everything that I do for my business is for students, for the ones currently in my classroom and those that may never sit in classroom.  TeacherLadyKY is about making an impact to change the world and it may be small now, but my dreams are big. Believe that. #BeSavageNotAverage #thebestisyettocome
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The TeacherLadyKY blog header and logo were designed by Sheryl, using fonts from A Primary Kind of Life and Brittney Murphy Design.Β  Clip art is courtesy of Irina Bandyk, whose Etsy shop is WatercolorCliparts.Β Β The blog theme used is Emilia by Georgia Lou Studios.

 

 

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