Professional Development/Inservice Days

Discussion in 'General Education' started by HistTchr, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Do you find most of your school's professional development days worthwhile? What types of new learning do you take away? I ask because our back-to-school PD this year is focused on using rubrics in the classroom. We have a veteran faculty, and I can't think of anyone on our staff who doesn't regularly use them. In fact, I remember having a full year of rubric-related PD about eight years ago! Is this the case in your district? I always go to workshops with an open mind, but sometimes I do dread going to them when I hear the topic. :yawn:
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    We don't have as much in-school PD as we used to. I currently have two videos I ave to watch...bullying and suicide prevention. This is the first time we've done this on video instead of during our two teacher workdays so I'm hoping we get some free time in classrooms on those as instead...I also not using any time on summer vaca to watch the videos...I have until the end of September to watch them:whistle:
    Weare part of a curriculum center that offers workshops during the year. Teachers typically get three workshop days at the enter per year. They also offer FREE pd classes afterschool and during the summer. Their workshop offerings are varied and meet most teachers' needs and interests.:thumb:
     
  4. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    That's great that you can choose your own PD! We had PD on bullying last year or the year before and it was very good.
     
  5. mrsenglish

    mrsenglish Rookie

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    Our in service days (Monday and Tuesday) are about 21st century learning, so I'm super excited. Last year, we had some great presentations about PBL, so they were helpful.
     
  6. perplexed

    perplexed Comrade

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    In my last schools, it seemed like they'd just have workshops just to say they had workshops on our inservice days. It seemed like they tried to fill our time with the most useless stuff just to use the time up. This would make it difficult to concentrate when I knew I could be getting so much done in my classroom. Now at my new school, the in-service does seem pretty useful, at least I'm hoping. They seem very on top of things and have a variety to choose from so we can go to ones that fit what we need to know. They also bring in some pretty big names, so it's nice to hear and learn from them. I have 3 weeks of inservice since I'm new in the district, so I hope I'll be thinking positively still by the time I'm done.
     
  7. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Two years ago, we have 4 PD days on using the SMARTBoard in the classroom. It would have been great if I weren't one of the six teachers in the school without a SMARTBoard and not on the list to get one.
     
  8. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Most professional development is impractical or useless. Perhaps 3% of the information that's been presented in ours over the years have any practical day-to-day use.
     
  9. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We also have less offered. I used to be able to attend some over the summer, but there was nothing this year. I find the district moving more toward online trainings-cheaper, I'm sure. Our inservice days are pretty much the same info every year, more for teachers new to our campus or our methods. We will have 2 whole days on the new evaluation process this year-looking forward to that. ;)
     
  10. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I wish they'd cut out a lot of the crap PD and give us more time to work in our rooms.

    Today, we did the exact same PD - from the district - that we did last year. I get that the new hires have to see it... but then I found out they did the exact same thing at new hire orientation last week.

    It's going to be a long, long week of preschool.
     
  11. TerriInCa

    TerriInCa Companion

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    I work at a Charter school. I am new to the school and so is A LOT of the staff. When I chatted with the principal a few weeks back she apologized that the upcoming in-service day will all be stuff she is sure I already know since I have a few years under my belt and most of the staff is new to teaching. I wont mind, it is all part of moving into a new school/district. I am sure there will be plenty of things I didn't know how they do it.
     
  12. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    OUCH!:eek:hmy: How did you stay alert?
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I am hoping that PD will be more relevant for me now that I'm in regular ed. In the past, I have been extremely frustrated because my old district required TONS of pd (we had to go in 90 minutes early once a week for pd) and it was all 100% focused on classroom teachers and things that they should be doing in their classroom. They often got time to plan units and things together during this and I was told to just "listen in" somewhere rather than working on things that were relevant to me. People always said, "Oh, but you need to know what's going on in the classrooms" which I always thought was a poor excuse for making me sit through their pd. Sure, it's good to have an idea of what your students are doing in gen ed, but I don't need to sit through a pd on science when I don't teach science. Not to mention, the classroom teachers got all that additional training and I got absolutely no training that was specific to my position or that I could apply to my teaching. Earlier this week in my new district we did a pd on social studies, and the P said that anyone who didn't actually teach social studies didn't have to stay. Although of course SS is relevant to me in my new position, I still was happy to hear her say that because it shows she is more in touch with the staff and their needs. In my last school, I would have had to sit through that entire thing along with the specials teachers who don't teach it either.
     
  14. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    Aug 10, 2012

    It depends on the year. This year, based on performance evaluations, our principal plans on spending a lot of time working on questioning strategies and writing objectives. We have an older faculty and I think maybe people have gotten lazy. But I just graduated 2 years ago and think I'm actually pretty good at those things. I wish I could use that time working on things I *do* need help with.

    We usually have a "feel good" guest speaker, some teambuilding that does nothing to solve the teacher cliques, and some department meetings (which I don't have, since I'm my own department). I dont' mind the learning time - I just wish I could learn more.
     
  15. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Most of our PD is in the summer an we could choose what we wanted, there are always tons of choices within the district and a few slots outside the district for different things. You also have $50 per year tomput towards outside PD, though the P will almost always cover all Of it anyway. This year I took a 3 day Marilyn Burns math course in manipulatives in he classrom, a class on interpreting RtI data, and words their way training. All Of it was great. We have 4 days before school starts and I expect about 1.5 days to be taken up with meetings between the grade level, district, and school, but it honestly isn't usually frivolous.
     
  16. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Aug 11, 2012

    Professional development should be done on a teacher's own time. The school should require teachers to complete x amount of hours of PD a year, and they should provide money for teachers to go to summer workshops, or workshops on "in service" days. They should also require that teachers go to at least one workshop with their grade group or team. Then, teachers would be able to choose what they learned, and would therefore be more invested in it.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 11, 2012

    Ours tend to have a bit of religious flavor to them.

    I wish I could remember the name of the last speaker we had. He's a fairly well known radio personality, and the dad of a bunch of kids. He was phenomenal!!! We spent the day laughing, we learned a lot, and we returned to work reinvigorated.
     
  18. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Our are hit and miss. Some years have been interesting while others... We're expected to do 18 hours over the summer on our own (we get those days back during the school year), and thankfully we only have 3 days of PD before school actually starts. Some districts around here have 7 days!

    What's so sad is that it seems most teachers really dislike PD, but every district makes us go through it. It's the most demoralizing way to start the school year.
     
  19. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Our PD is never worthwhile. Ever. Even our weekly PD meetings with our curriculum specialist is a waste of time.
     
  20. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I worked at a school that gave personal PD time. We had a certain number of school based PD days given by our district (I think it was 5 days per year). Anyway, on those days, we would spend a portion of that doing something school-wide and then the rest of the time would be dedicated to personal PD. We could choose anything we wanted. We could work alone or in groups. We could go offsite if we wanted to - to visit experts in our field, teachers at other schools, etc. We were held accountable for what we did, as we had to do up short reports, but it was great.

    I decided to work on outcome based assessment with another teacher. When I decided to move to another province, my work with outcome based assessment helped me get the job I'm in now.
     
  21. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    as a teacher entering his second year (after 25+ years in manufacturing) I welcome PD and inservice days IF they were meaningful. I think most admin/instructors intend for them to be and prepare accordingly. However (imo) it appears that teachers expect them to be a waste of time and the prophecies are somewhat self-fulfilling. It really bothers me when I see "professional" people attending a meeting working on their PC's,texting, grading papers, etc. Outside of the educational world this would not be tolerated. I fired a young engineer for texting during a meeting concerning a serious problem with one of our customers. It's simply unprofessional, inappropriate and displays lack of judgement and commitment.

    Please note that I am in no way saying that this applies to you or your colleagues. I am sure that my observations are not the rule and are based on a limited amount of data.
     
  22. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I think it happens more than you would think. I regularly saw a colleague marking papers during staff meetings and PD. Now, she was an excellent teacher, participated in these meetings when necessary and voiced her opinion, but she was ALWAYS marking.

    I've also seen people doing crossword puzzles, playing games on their phones and doodling. Our art teacher once brought a number of art supplies and sketched.
     
  23. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I find most of our PD a waste of time. Occasionally, we do have a good PD day-but in the past 17 years, I can count them on one hand.
    I would much rather have time to work in my room, or have a PD day at the end of each quarter to work on grades,etc.
     
  24. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I just want to note that I'm "that kid" - I can't sit still and listen. I'm always doodling or or writing something up. It's not that I'm not paying attention - I just can't function in lecture-style PDs. Fortunately, my bosses understand this and also know I'm absorbing the information as long as my hands are busy. Hopefully that's the case with at least a few of your colleagues :)

    On a side note, I've been organizing work stuff all morning. I counted up all of my PD hours for the last three years. 592 hours of PD. 300 for ESOL, 180 for summer trainings I personally find professionally helpful, and 112 hours from the district... many of which were a waste of my time.

    We have 9.5 designated PD days on this year's calendar... and 5 designated work days. A few of the half days I'm not sure of yet.
     
  25. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    That always bothers me, too. In fact, I usually don't sit with my friends during PD days because I know some of them will be doing those very things. I sit near the teachers who will at least be attentive and try to get something out of the meeting. Even though the topics might not always be the most relevant, I still think the speaker deserves everyone's attention if he/she went through the trouble of putting together an entire workshop.

    Teachers sometimes exhibit the same behaviors in PD that would not be tolerated in their own classrooms!
     
  26. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Ours are hit-or-miss as well. We have 2 days at the beginning, which encompass insurance meeting, superintendant's greeting/update, intro of new staff at all 3 buildings, brief union meeting, principal's meeting, and room preparations on first day. Second day's agenda will be given out on that day. I anticipate a day full of trainings, most likely PBIS for a large portion.

    I also hate to be around people who I know will hold sidebar conversations. I don't always pay close attention when it doesn't apply to me. I like to doodle on my paper. But I want to look like I'm listening. Our principal has even scolded some staff for talking. That's embarassing.

    I also don't understand how it is possible to wait each year until the January PD day to 'teach' us OSHA guidelines and blood-borne pathogen training. A brand new teacher needs to know that on day 1, not half way through the year. Yet each year it is the same.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  27. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Most professional development for teachers is exposure often passed off as training. Generally professional development has to do with money. Can't beat the efficiency of packing the district's teachers into the school auditorium and hiring some expert to put them into a coma for three hours. Whether this constitutes "development" is open for debate. I suppose one's sense of hating professional development can be developed as a result of this sketchy delivery system.

    Learning implies some degree of mastery. Would anyone lecture to their class for three hours on all the steps to long division, provide no guided practice, no checking for understanding, no structured practice with coaching, no independent practice and no review with reteaching and expect students to ace the test six months later in June? Probably not. Isn't it odd we teach young people one way and adults completely different?

    This, "blow in - blow off - blow out", is exactly how most staff development is offered under the guise of learning. It is no wonder teachers fall off task, doodle, correct papers, and talk to neighbors. It's exactly what happens in their classrooms if they were to deliver learning in such a boring, one modality fashion. One expert in teaching teachers put it this way, "It's the viral theory of learning. Like a virus, one merely needs to be exposed and you get it."
     
  28. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    I too have occasionally seen the discrepancy between what is said and what is done at these things. The material is often times presented in exactly the same fashion as we are warned against - i.e. an all lecture format seems to be frowned upon by the very same experts who present their material in exactly the same fashion???!!! I often wonder if these people fail to see the irony in their presentations.
     
  29. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Ours are hit and miss, as well. Normally during the week before school starts when teachers/staff report, it's to go over policies for the school and anything new that is coming down. PD is supposed to be done on our own time. This year a few of us are going to the neighboring district's 2 day PD.
     
  30. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    That's what bothers me the most, too. I don't mind sitting next to people who are doodling, but I'm horrified when people try to start talking to me when the speaker is presenting. I feel like I'm back in school trying not to get caught. :eek:

    Ha...We have had these types of things late in the year, too! Our principal had a good idea the past couple of years, and put the blood-borne pathogen training in a PowerPoint. We had to view the PowerPoint on our own and then sign-off with the nurse that we completed it.
     
  31. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I've wondered that as well. We had a classroom management session as part of our new teacher induction and the presenter went on and on about how it's so important not to give extrinsic rewards because the kids will learn to think of it as "what do I get if I do it?" However, this guy was handing out candy or dollar bin teaching items to those that raised their hand to participate, because "we wouldn't participate as much otherwise." Umm, ironic much?

    I also had a professor in college who irked me to no end because literally every day she would speak about the evils of paper and pencil tests. These aren't a true measure for learning and we should not give them under any circumstances. We had to create a math unit for our practicum class and we were instructed NOT to use a paper pencil test as a post-assessment. Then we had to actually teach the unit at our schools. I put a project in as the post-assessment, but the school I was at followed a curriculum which required that the post-test be given so I had to give the test as well. When she saw the test in my plans, she completely berated me for giving it even though I'd explained that it was a requirement of the school. However, we did a paper pencil test for her at the end of every chapter! Wow!
     
  32. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    The teacher across the hall from me always brings that up after our PD days, particularly when we have had days all about cooperative learning and differentiated instruction and have just sat there listening to a lecture all day! :yawn:
     
  33. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Aug 11, 2012

    Over this past summer, I took 4 days of Kagan Cooperative Learning (which was great!), 2 days of Common Core math training, 2 days of Common Core ELA training (both mandatory), 3 days of Intervention methods & materials for RTI in math, and 1/2 day of teaching writing. These were all located at our district office. At the beginning of each year, we have 2 mandatory school-based "Professional Development" days, which are usually hit or miss. This year, we got to meet our new P, and they began telling us just a bit about Compass, the new teacher evaluation system in Louisiana. Then, our coordinator got up and read a powerpoint to us (doncha hate that!), then told us what a horrible job we did last year, then decided to try to lead a cheer, while 3 teachers were crying. Next, our counselor got up and read another powerpoint to us, and not well (his reading). Thankfully, our new P gave us the rest of Thursday and all of Friday to work in our rooms.
     
  34. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    :eek::wow:
     
  35. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'm an SLP & I attend as many as I can, especially since I'm technically an intern & still learning. I attended several last school year & hope to attend just as many this year. The ones I attend are informative. It's a lot of good info that I may not have time to soak in & read upon, but listening to it at the time & usually getting a booklet or notes about it reminds me there's always something to be reading/studying about.
     

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