We need big ideas, and inspiring talk, but we also need to stand up in front of the class every day and deliver (content, experience, experiences, etc.). I need professional development that gives me tools, or expands my toolbox, with specific things to try and do.
Here's an example: at our school this year we're doing a series of monthly meetings talking about growth vs. fixed mindset. We have heard on multiple occasions that students, when presented with an experience in a classroom, can be steered towards a growth mindset. This sounds wonderful. Now, I'm back in the class, teaching math, and I am not sure what to do. I want to foster a growth mindset... do I design my own lesson that subtly imparts the knowledge? I can't be the first math teacher who wanted to dedicate an hour of math 2 class time towards fostering the growth mindset in a unit on quadratic equations, but it feels like to do this, I need to do it myself.
This has to have been done before! I'm not lazy, just busy, and really, if it's so awesome, hasn't someone come up with a great take-away, a great lesson to help us all do what needs to be done? That is the challenge: connecting specifics with needs.