Professional Learning Everyday for the Modern Educator

As a new holiday day awakens me to a beautiful view overlooking the gorgeous Pacific Ocean from atop my hilltop mansion (temporary holiday residence!) I trawl through the news via my ipad, read some blogposts, check in with twitter and eat my breakfast!!

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What a modern world we have become. At one end of the breakfast table sit two octogenarians reading the paper and doing crosswords and to my left sits my wife and brother in law on their ipads checking email, looking for cheap holiday flights etc etc. I guess this is a fairly typical scene for any household this time of year so having no one to talk too I blog a few thoughts away……

Over the last few days I decided to get into the xmas spirit and spend some “real time” with family and leave my ipad alone but now is time to get back into the “work”. I promised myself these hols I would be proactive with my professional learning and post 100 thoughts over summer! The theme I took was “Creating Great Schools”.

One of the invaluable assets in a modern teachers armoury are PLNs (Professional Learning Networks). In the ‘old days’ when I first started teaching in the 1990s professional learning (or PD) was something you often did on a typical one day course and then forgot about when you got back to school. The internet has changed all that of course so these days if your serious about professionally developing your skills you can do it anytime in any number of ways. One of the best for many is Twitter

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Twitter represents for many teachers the modern day PD that can now occur anyday, anytime, including the so called holiday time. It keeps you connected to a wonderful group of fellow educators and then connects you to their networks as well which is like reading 100 newspapers instead of the one I read everyday in my small neck of the woods.

We all know professional learning is essential in many professions but some key questions to ask:

How many teachers in your school are connected via social media and actively join in PLNs?

How regularly do your staff engage and share good practice at staff meetings?

Do your meetings focus on “nuts and bolts” administration or is there time for sharing of learning?

Do your staff present at teacher conferences and share practice amongst colleagues at local, state and national conferences?

What is the “online” presence like of the teachers at your school?

Thought for the day: The simple response is great schools have great teachers who actively seek out and engage with other like minded educators who are constantly seeking to better their practice as teachers.

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