The Amazing Race

Teachers from different sites are teamed up to complete P.D. tasks.

Photo of Jen Ortlinghaus
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My school district is K-12. There are very many sites all over the city of Petaluma. The school district is constantly making changes in programs at various sites. Often the teachers do not know what changes are occurring at the other sites because we don't communicate effectively. In order to improve communication, we could complete p.d. tasks in teams. The teams would consist of mixed site, grade level, and subject area representatives. During the task completion, teachers would have time to discuss what is happening at their sites. This p.d. day could become a friendly competition something like the television program "The Amazing Race" with points awarded for quality of completed activities or tasks.


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Photo of Jen Ortlinghaus

Paula Marra What I had in mind was teachers meeting live and being grouped with staff from other sites. During breaks throughout the day, teachers would (hopefully) naturally chat about things/programs going on at their sites. Possibly, the chatting would happen even during the tasks/activities that were being completed. I hadn't thought about a hang out. What a great idea! I'm now thinking that beginning with a district-wide meeting at a certain site and following up with hang outs would be even better. Thank you for the comment and bright idea!

Photo of Paula Marra

I love this! We are always talking about transparency and open communication and many times we don't know what is happening. How do you envision this happening? Via GHO? on site? schedule meetings? team visits? Looking forward to hearing more. Cheers, Paula

Photo of Sarah Lundy

This is powerful, actionable & (my gut says) sustainable! I think it would meet the learning needs of experienced teachers in order to more equitably & rapidly disseminate innovative & effective practices to students in a district or region.

Photo of John Faig

I love this idea because it not only builds leverage from teachers not reinventing the wheel and it helps build connections with other teachers (to hopefully jump start their PLN).  If the teachers are in other countries, it could be a gateway to global collaboration!

Photo of Paul Kim

Jen -- I like this idea!  What if it was adapted with several other ideas here...  Because there are so many interesting towns and restaurants in and around Petaluma, begin the morning with mixed teams meeting for breakfast at unique sites to begin a conversation around a specific design thinking prompt like "how might we help teachers gain a greater sense of agency in their work?"

Then have teachers do a series of ignite talks that they've prepared.

To switch things up, teachers cook lunch together according to some preset menu and a predetermined lead cook | teacher.

After lunch, the team goes for a short walk or hike somewhere nearby.

The day concludes with an ideation session and the development of a lesson prototype for each teacher along with a commitment for follow up (perhaps at a Saturday breakfast at the restaurant where the day began) during the course of the school year.

Photo of Jen Ortlinghaus

Paul Kim Thanks for the comment. I love the variety you suggested adding: especially the cooking lunch together. Plus the follow-up at the same beginning points is brilliant. Hopefully these ideas continue to be developed!