75 years of PD experience (collectively...no one teaches that long!)

We have seen the pendulum swing in the PD realm & here's what we found to be most valuable!

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Ideally, we think PD should be differentiated for different learning outcomes and should accommodate different learning styles of the teachers participating. We've also looked at ways of assessment for PD efforts. How do we know if we've achieved our PD goals, immediately and over the course of time? In the last few years, we have had several very successful PD experiences (as opposed to perhaps not uber-successful experiences in the past). Here are some reasons we think we've been most recently successful:

  • PD is more teacher-driven now 
  • there is often choice and best teaching practices are modeled (for example, team-building, having fun, and finding ways that the group stays cohesive and open) 
  • we often provide food :) 
  • initial PD is mostly one-on-one or in small groups and is directed or guided by an expert
  • follow-up PD comes from "new" in-house "experts" who also work one-on-one or in small groups 
  • PD continues with a specific focus over a longer period of time (i.e. a year or more) with check-ins and feedback and communications from original expert
  • time is given to pursue PD opportunities (i.e. weekly faculty meetings, work days, release time) and administration supports PD
  • doing PD virtually (via Skype or Google Hangouts) makes it more accessible for more participants and more flexible in terms of timing
  • PD is often directly connected with task forces (groups of teachers dedicated to sustained school improvement in a number of areas) where again teachers are choosing their level of participation 
  • our 6 year strategic plan (from our accreditation) helps us to focus our PD attentions and channel our resources effectively 
  • we are fortunate to be an independent school and thus we get to decide on our priorities and how best to achieve our goals

See our other "stories" for examples of successful and specific PD from our school - ones we'd certainly want to replicate (i.e. let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater). However, we're ALSO excited about exploring brand new - in the clouds - ideas about PD! 

Amy, Melissa, Molly and Patti ~ on behalf of Sonoma Country Day School :) 

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Photo of Sarah Lundy

Clearly when you all put your minds together you unleash a self-sustaining chain-reaction of energetic solutions! Is Sonoma Country Day School interested in working on solving our energy crisis next? You're the right team for any job and your students are SO fortunate!

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