Anticipation is building as our district prepares for an exciting day of professional learning on Friday. Our focus on transformational teaching and learning leads to an interactive and collaborative day of in-service tomorrow. The day opens with a virtual keynote and a panel discussion with instructional technology experts from the Kansas City region. The next phase of the day includes three choice-based sessions over a broad array of topics. The day concludes in a powerful way with a Share Fair that includes 37 stations led by students and staff members.
During the 2012-13 school year our faculty took steps to develop a common language of instructional practice. During school-wide collaboration in November 2012, our staff engaged in dialogue to calibrate definitions of student engagement, teacher engagement, and differentiated instruction. Our leadership team led this activity as staff members discussed their perspectives in small groups and posted their thinking for the staff on Today’sMeet. This initial activity led to the development of a small group observation form to be used during instructional rounds at Excelsior Springs Middle School.
On February 15, my graduate cohort met for another session of our course on professional staff development and teacher evaluation. During class students shared a high quality professional development strategy that could be used in a school or district setting. In all, twenty different PD models were shared during Saturday’s class (see below).