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On our call the other day, I heard everyone say in different ways that valuable PD involves connections.

On our call the other day, I heard everyone say in different ways that valuable PD involves connections.

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For PD to be valuable, you need to dive in.  PD is not something that happens to you; you need to engage in it to be valuable.

For PD to be valuable, you need to dive in. PD is not something that happens to you; you need to engage in it to be valuable.

Photo of Valerie Swangren
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Valerie commented on Mentoring Passion

In the Maker Educator community in the SF Bay Area, there are regular meetups open to maker educators.  It's on my own time and based on my own interests, but I certainly go as many times as I can manage!   
We have talked about cutting edge research, participated in projects and just networked with each other.  It is all sooo valuable.  Interest + opportunity = enrichment for everyone.  

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Valerie commented on Students in PD

This is something that I think is critical, too.  We don't teach in a vacuum!  If our goal is to give the students some valuable insight into what they are learning, we should be following up on that by seeing what they liked/didn't like and learned/didn't learn during the instruction.   At a company where I was a supervisor, they initiated a review process for supervisors asking how the employees felt about how the supervisors were doing.  It meant a lot more to me to get feedback from the employees because they worked directly with me and saw me every day.  MY supervisor didn't really know what I did on a daily basis with the employees, so often feedback felt contrived because they only saw me working once in a while.  

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Valerie commented on Annual Learning Plans

We have a teacher development plan, which I think was intended to do a similar thing.  What really happens is that everyone writes it up, gives it to the administration and many of us feel like they never even look at them.  One teacher assures me she has been submitting the same one for the last several years.  That can't be valuable!  
I do like the intention, though.  I would like it more if, as this one indicates, the supervisor actually acknowledges your goals and maybe even supports them.  The conversation here is key.  It's discouraging if you are working hard on something and nobody in administration even understands what you are doing and why.  Also, the inclusion of parent and even student input would be really valuable.