Saturday, December 30, 2017

Update Your Professional Learning Path

The vacation has given me needed time to think, rest, and make plans for the year(s) ahead.

With professional learning in mind and Snyder's book, On Tryanny, as inspiration, I want to develop my professional repertoire to support teaching and learning well. What will I do in this regard?

First, I'll attend the January 6th Union School event in Massachusetts, an event sponsored by the Massachusetts Teachers Association. Snyder speaks of keeping our democracy strong and what we need to do in his book, and one focus he encourages is to get out there and be personally involved with a few good organizations. In his book, On Tyranny, he demonstrates how the corrosion of established institutions is one of the first steps in dismantling a democracy, and that to keep a democracy strong, we have to stay true to the professional ethics of established institutions that contribute to a free and just society. For me that means continuing to invest my time and energy into the Massachusetts Teachers Union (MTA) as one group that forwards good work to serve all children and their families well. This is very important to our democracy, our freedom, our country, and our world.

Next, I'll attend the January 11th Teacher Collaborative event, as this is another organization I want to learn from and contribute to. In a sense the Teacher Collaborative works to connect public school and private school educators and education organizations around the state with the aim of developing best practices and service to students. I want to develop my repertoire and by networking with this group of invested educators, I'll be able to do that. Already the founders of this organization have contributed significantly to my ability to teach well, and I look forward to a continued relationship and support with this organization, and organization I've invited colleagues to partake in as well. (1/10 Update: Note due to a scheduling conflict because of a snow day, I had to attend another event rather than this one.)

Further, I'll take part in one of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) professional development events related to obtaining the 15 PDPs I need to recertify. Fortunately the MTA is offering a number of courses to meet recertification requirements, and I look forward to partaking in this. I tried to meet this requirement via an online course, but I still find that I'm mostly a person who likes to learn with hybrid courses--courses that are blended with part online and part in-person contact.

Then, in conjunction with colleagues at school, I'll work to do the following:

  • Consider summer study via scholarship programs listed on this professional learning page
  • Work to write grant proposals to develop our curriculum programs at school.
  • Plan and execute the new science curriculum.
  • Continue to develop the math teaching/learning program with colleagues and possibly via the Teacher Collaborative Co-Lab structure.
  • Participate in the ATMIM organization, an organization that forwards optimal math teaching and learning in Massachusetts. 
There's a temptation as a busy teacher to hibernate by sticking to our in-school activities alone without getting out there and connecting with colleagues and others, yet we can't do that. We have to push ourselves out there because sometimes "More is More" which means that we need the inspiration, energy, and motivation that new voices, connections, and learning experiences bring to us. Sydney encourages this greatly in his book, and his words are worth heeding. Onward.