Often time is an issue when it comes to professional learning and development for educators. A good win-win solution for this is to engage students in new learning opportunities that teach the teacher too. Our team has engaged in a number of these events over the past years by inviting experts into the classroom or signing on to expert programs at local teaching/learning organizations that teach us and the students at the same time.
For example, last week at Sturbridge Village we signed up for a presentation about food preservation in the 19th century. I believe we all learned a lot, and as an educator, I got a lot of new ideas about how I might integrate that knowledge into our science, math, and social studies classes in the future since many of the activities were a direct match for our grade-level standards.
Similarly, today, our natural coach will present a lesson on climate change. I've never taught this topic before so I'm looking forward to learning with students as the coach presents a standards-based approach to the subject.
When educators learn with students, educators can quickly see how the new learning can be successfully implemented in the classroom while they grow their own knowledge too. This is a good way to meet professional learning needs and teach children well too.