Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Professional Development - If you build it ... they will come! Reflections

OK - I'm now past the "90 day mark" as a suburban school superintendent. As a one-school district, the superintendent wears "many hats": executive leadership, personnel/HR, business/operations, communications, technology, building/grounds, you name it!  I work with an exemplary principal, one who has led the school for the past 14 years. She is fantastic, she is a wonderful leader, and she is the lead on student services, curriculum & instruction, and all school matters. She is a true partner!

During the July board meeting, we participated in team building/visioning with a Field Services Director from the IL Association of School Boards. The Board was asked to "dream" ... among other dreams for the school district, the Board indicated they wanted increased technology for students and staff, they wanted increased professional development opportunities for teachers, forward thinking and 21st Century curriculum, instruction, assessment, technology, and communications.

With that mandate, and the shared visioning experiences and desires with the principal, we set the plan into motion ... In some of the earlier blog postings, I have shared graphics (PREZI), and posts about the macro-professional development plans for the year.  I'm thrilled that more than 25% of the teachers have signed up for the Edmodo project - already we have a district Edmodo account and a district Voice Thread account. In addition, nearly 25% of the teachers have signed up for the in-depth interview/study coaching project as well.

Another extremely positive sign is the openness and welcoming attitude all teachers have shown with drop-in walk through observations, and a regular sharing of professional development opportunities. Today I shared an email from the West 40 (local Regional Office of Education - ROE/Intermediate Service Center - ISC) identifying a "web 2.0" opportunity with each participant getting a free "tool" for participating.

The point is not that teachers are signing up for workshops, the point is that the energy in the school is palatable and it is due in part to the Board's leadership, the administrative support of this leadership, and the faculty's openness to change, growth, progress, and learning.

Truly, if you build it they will come (an old adage) is proving to be a true adage in my real life experiences.

1 comment:

  1. Great to hear things are going well. Send me a link to the Web 2.0 opportunity with the tool being given away. I'd like to see that! Save April 9, 2011 for a tech conference at Niles North, David Warlick will be the keynote.