I don’t know of any teachers that get excited about summer PD. The idea of giving up one or more of your precious days of summer is just not going to do it. The truth is, it is necessary and helpful.
While summer PD may not be what gets you out of bed in the morning it can be great if you get something out of it. Truly awesome professional development leaves us invigorated and ready to conquer new challenges in the classroom.
Today’s post is comprised of ideas for getting the most out of your summer PD, despite the fact you probably don’t want to be there.
I understand that as teachers we do not always get the option to choose exactly which professional development we attend. Sometimes we do though, and this is when you should be extra choosy.
Go through your options with a fine tooth comb and really dig into descriptions to find the PD that you are most excited about. Wanting to learn about a subject will do a lot to help you be more positive about the experience. This, in turn, will help you to be a more active learner.
When you do get to choose your own professional development don’t be afraid to look past the options being offered locally. Stretch to find something you really want to learn about, even if that means leaving your area and having to complete some extra paperwork to get approval. This might even mean getting to turn it into a long weekend of learning in a new place!
Check Your Mindset
When you are walking into your summer PD be sure to have a positive attitude. Remind yourself that you GET to learn that day and pump yourself up for the best training you have ever attended.
This might seem a little over the top, but I promise it will be infectious. Your peers will feel it and so will the presenter. Together you will learn more and have a great day!
Set a Goal
When I attend summer PD, or any PD really, I try to set three goals for myself.
By the end of the training, I want to walk away with something I can do right away with my new learning, something I can do I the next month, and a longer-term goal I can work on over the next year.
By setting myself up with a short, medium, and long-term goal I am already on the road to success. The quick win of the first goal sets the tone for the bigger goals and keeps the learning fresh in my mind the next day.
I would recommend taking a moment at the end of the training to come up with these three goals. If you leave and say you will do it later, you won’t. Life is too busy, so take the five minutes right away and get it done.
Make It a Party
Once you find a summer PD that gets you excited pack that room with all your teaching besties.
I recommend this for several reasons. The first one is who doesn’t want to see their teaching friends over the summer. The second is that it is always easier to walk into a room where you know you are going to see a familiar face. Finally, when you and your colleagues are receiving the same training you automatically have a cohort to discuss your learning, set goals with, and support one another when you put it into action in your classrooms.
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