Conversations Episode 46
This week, Maria Knee, Sheila Adams, and Lisa Parisi were joined by Ginger Lewman and Erin Fitzpatrick to continue last week's discussion on what is and what isn't Professional Development. The conversation moved into how we get most of our professional development, what school districts provide for us, and what we can expect from teachers.
jgates513 -> what's the topic for today?
MariaK -> good morning Scott - just getting set up. How are you?
Lisa Parisi -> Topic is continuation of last week...PD
MariaK -> good morning jim
jgates513 -> good morning.
MariaK -> sun is coming out here in nh but it is chilly
Sheila -> Morning all!
Lisa Parisi -> Welcome all. I am starting stream now.
Lisa Parisi -> Stream is up on ETTA
Sheila -> and ustream
Sheila -> Welcome all!
loonyhiker -> hi y'all!
GingerTPLC -> Hi everyone!
McTeach -> Good morning!
Scott Shelhart -> Good morning all
McTeach -> Does Lisa teach math? I'm worried! :)
GingerTPLC -> lol!!
loonyhiker -> lol
loonyhiker -> i would never laff! (i'm the one that burnt the hard boiled eggs yesterday)
GingerTPLC -> Pat, that's funny!
loonyhiker -> @ginger i'm just glad i heard them exploding b4 i burned the house down :)
GingerTPLC -> lol
Scott Shelhart -> All of us here know how to go above/beyond. How do sell it to the non-techies?
jackiegerstein -> Some districts (like my old one) don't want the teachers go above and beyond. Status quo was rewarded.
Scott Shelhart -> @Jackie Thant's not a place I'd like to work :-( I'd rather work at Ginger's school
Lisa Parisi -> Really, Jackie? How is that possible?
jackiegerstein -> Very top down. If you did what was asked without making waves, you end up moving "up the ranks".
Lisa Parisi -> Wow. I think I would lose my job quickly.
Scott Shelhart -> TPLC is first on my list to get my resume as soon as I get certified...
loonyhiker -> saw this on twitter: "if u need to pay bonuses to motivate a teacher to work hard in the classroom, then u hired the wrong person"
Lisa Parisi -> That was the conversation I was having this morning, Pat.
jackiegerstein -> I left ; ) not because of the kids - I had articles publushed about their projects, took a small group to
to meet kids down therem had major computer projects - The administration just "put up" with me. Mexico
Lisa Parisi -> Doesn't the same go for PD?
loonyhiker -> @lisa i think so, as a teacher we need to want to grow and learn more or we become stagnant
loonyhiker -> they hit the jackpot when they hired u lisa :)
Sheila -> @Jackie - that's a shame . . .
jackiegerstein -> No one me and another teacher (out of a district of 4500 students) used technology. Looked that a district out of 1970s. The pre-service workshop prior to the school year was an intensive training on Wong's The First Days of School (and many of the teachers had been teaching for over 10 years).
BDay -> It's important for teachers to be able to have a say in their own PD. My district has been orchestrating that by "encouraging" teachers to take certain literacy or math classes, which are often repeated multiple times during the school year.
jackiegerstein -> Passion should be the first sign of a good teacher.
Scott Shelhart -> Aren't the super passionate the first to burn-out?
TamL17 -> Agreed...
TamL17 -> Scott--a lot of times, but districts should have plans in place to support passionate teachers.
Elaine -> hat's a great question, Lisa. Let's folks know that educators are reading, exploring, and learning.
Sheila -> Hi Maureen and Debot
Maureen -> Hi Sheila... and everyone. What's the topic?
jackiegerstein -> Seth Goldin has an interesting blog about hiring people yesterday - http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/08/two-ways-to-hire-and-a-wrong-way.html
DEBOT -> Hi All
Elaine -> The super-passionate CAN be the first to burnout, but the collegial and collaborative ones will find ways to survive
Sheila -> PD - getting beyond the mandated PD
Elaine -> The "interview" voice and style vs the "real person." I once didn't get a job because I was too professional and didn't let them see the "real person"
Spedteacher -> BDay -- NYC offers teachers a menu of PDs to choose from throughout the year, but you need your principal's permission to be released from school to attend. On specified PD says the principal decides what PD you do.
loonyhiker -> i got to interview as head of the dept. along w/ asst. principal. if we liked the person, then they would go to the principal
Sheila -> @Elaine that is the challenge, figuring out what they want.
DEBOT -> As tech coordinator I tried to sit in all interviews but the timing of wasn't there
Scott Shelhart -> Thanks Elaine - I might have a chance:) burnout is my biggest fear
11:46:39 loonyhiker -> i feel like hiring can be a gamble cuz we had one that interviewed great but was an awful teacher - they knew how to say the right things but then actions spoke louder than words
DEBOT -> Administrators asked a 21st century learning question as part of initial screening. that was a big step for us this year.
jackiegerstein -> Read Seth Goldin's article - he proposes two options - neither includes the group interviews of an hour per person.
Spedteacher -> I think the burnout comes from constantly having to battle the admin, other teachers, etc. for what you believe. Sometimes conceding small points and adjusting slightly to the reality of the situation helps.
Lisa Parisi -> And I know lots of people who can't interview well but teach great.
jackiegerstein -> Agreed @Spedtacher
BDay -> After 3 years of PD over vocabulary throughout the school year, I felt PDed to death. I decided to do something I wanted this summer, and took and on-line class on using the internet. Besides learning a lot, I feel excited and energized. Good PD can do that for you.
Elaine -> Some places want to see the person in a classroom, but that "substitute" experience can be so artificial. Kids are never natural and of coure the teacher tries to give his or her best lesson.
DEBOT -> @spaedteacher sometimes burnout comes from just trying to do too much
loonyhiker -> i would love to see them teach a lesson!
jackiegerstein -> One of the options that Seth proposes is having potential interviewees do short term/small consultant work so you see the work the person does.
Scott Shelhart -> Don't all teachers have several videos in their portfolios?
Spedteacher -> Jackiegerstin that blog post by Seth Godin was a real eye-opener for me. It is the way I hired at my restaurant, but thought the needs of bigger companies were different.
loonyhiker -> could u videotape a lesson for the interviewer?
jackiegerstein -> How so Spedteacher?
Elaine -> You would have to go as a guest observer, but have to be careful about school rules & union considerations.
Scott Shelhart -> I have videos of me teaching as a sub (with permission, of course)
jackiegerstein -> Me too and one shot interviews!
Spedteacher -> I think demo lessons are common everywhere, and I've never done one in my class.
loonyhiker -> we don't have unions here in SC so that wouldn't be an issue here
Maureen -> @lisa I agree- one shot does not give an accurate picture
Elaine -> Teacher could have someone else videotape them; doesn't have to be formal or fancy. Even then, though, everyone will behave differently as long as the camera is rolling.
Elaine -> A drop-in observation would be much more effective if there are ways to do that, esp if you're trying to hiring someone who isn't nearby.
Spedteacher -> Teacher observation is the best tool to improve teaching and get rid of bad teachers before tenure. Great tool, but never used well.
loonyhiker -> i would love for a candidate to share what would be valuable pd for them
jackiegerstein -> I am an advocate of electronic portfolios - with demo videos, lessons, etc. also demonstrates desire to learn
11:51:51 Elaine -> @loonyhiker I think that goes back to Lisa's point earlier about sharing what she read and what she wanted to try
Maureen -> When I was head of EC at our school it was a requirement to present something you learned at our meetings.
DEBOT -> @looneyhiker I like the valuable PD question
Elaine -> Yep, teachers need to want to be learners!!
DEBOT -> @Elaine How to you measure teachers as learners in the interview
loonyhiker -> i think the passion helps keep the fire burning not burned out
jackiegerstein -> It is others' reactions to that passion that may cause burnout
Lisa Parisi -> Good point Jackie.
GingerTPLC -> I agree, @loonyhiker
Maureen -> We just started with edublogs campus this year. I woulld love to see our teachers begin to use it to share more.
Spedteacher -> DEBOT Ask them about recent learning; how they learned it, what they learned, how they're using that learning, etc.
GingerTPLC -> Support or lack of is what causes burnout.
jackiegerstein -> I got tired of defending what I did
loonyhiker -> after 30 years, i don't think i ever felt burned out (retired cuz hubby's health is getting bad and he wanted to travel while we could)
Scott Shelhart -> Sometimes we have to find our own support online if we can't find it locally.
jackiegerstein -> That's why I am here, Scott
loonyhiker -> i think u get what u put in, so if u stop putting in, u get nothing out
Scott Shelhart -> The ones that close their door and cry often seem to be the ones that crash and burn.
Elaine -> It's the students who sustain good teachers and encourage them to keep going and trying. It's the administrators and petty politics that kill good teachers.
GingerTPLC -> Seeking that support is a key component of PD. It leads to more PD.
jackiegerstein -> Burnout and "work-aholic" comes is an individualized perspective - cannot make generalized statements about these "states"
loonyhiker -> i had some good admin and some bad but i didn't let them define me as a teacher
GingerTPLC -> @Jackie--yes!! Just like "overacheiver" There's no such thing.
BDay -> In presenting PD it is important to respect teachers' time. If you present a PD it needs to be something new and inspiring, not a rehash of the same old, same old.
Spedteacher -> Burnout sometimes happens because the rest of life, not school, is too challenging or not supportive.
Lisa Parisi -> Would anyone else like to join the conversation in Skype?
loonyhiker -> i hate to have to run but will listen to the recording when it comes out. gotta go walking while hubby is in the mood
Scott Shelhart -> cya pat
Sheila -> Bye Loonyhiker!
Maureen -> A carpenter just stopped by to give me an estimate on work I've been trying to get done for months.
Spedteacher -> Maureen send him to me when he's done with you.
Elaine -> And yes, PD has got to be applicable and useful. It's got to help teachers sustain and it has to be encouraging of the PROFESSION.
BDay -> In our bldg/district we are having our planning time taken for PD. That doesn't build enthusasme, and it really burns people out.
Maureen -> @spedteacher- he hasn't taken the job yet...;-)
Spedteacher -> One of the ways my principal keeps teachers, especially me, fresh is by giving us new challenges each year: different grades, different subjects (when possiblke), etc.
McTeach -> We still have to pay the rent!
jackiegerstein -> PD needs to be individualized and teacher-driven.
Spedteacher -> Getting paid for goint to PD and merit pay are two different issues, not related at all.
BDay -> It also needs to be fresh, and include time for teachers to actually implement parts of what they learn.
Spedteacher -> Maureen Just getting someone to give an estimate is a problem around here. You'd think it'd get easier with so many out of work and less construction/renovation being done.
MariaK -> @debot - can you come in the call
BDay -> When I present math pd I try to schedule part of the time for grade level collaboration, so they can look at how things apply to their grade levels needs.
GingerTPLC -> @Spedteacher: depends on how you define "merit" I don't think "merit" = test results.
GingerTPLC -> I think that PD and merit go hand in hand, or SHOULD.
Spedteacher -> Lisa We're getting or have gotten smartboards, but no training. I had to PAY for my training.
Spedteacher -> And I had to do it on my time.
Scott Shelhart -> Hard as you try, you can't mandate passion or common sense.
Elaine -> I remember an informal plurk survey about PD. Most said that 90% of their PD was done on their own time. So I wonder if teachers and administrators have dramatically different views of what constitutes PD.
DEBOT -> @Maria K deep in NHSTE books best I can do is chat
Maureen -> @spedteacher- he's just leaving now... will call by the end of the week- heard that before.
Spedteacher -> I agree with Lisa. Tell us what we have to learn, give us PD, then let us figure out how to learn it.
Spedteacher -> Everyone I know who isn't a teacher spends some of their "free" time learning about or doing their job.
Elaine -> But what's the PD @Spedteacher? What should that look like? How long should it be? What should be the focus or content? Or will it vary depending on the intent of the PD? And should each teacher have his or her own individual PD plan and/or should the school have a general vision for PD efforts for the whole school?
DEBOT -> I am a data person, but it is uphill work to get engagement data valued like standardized testing
Spedteacher -> There's a big space between student engagement and student learning that can be assessed in data-driven format.
Scott Shelhart -> @Elaine We have differentiated instruction for our students....why not for our teachers?
Spedteacher -> There is no one format for PD re time, content, format etc that works for everything Elaine.
Sheila -> I totally agree Scott!
Spedteacher -> One of my big complaints about PD is that it is not diffentiated, Elaine, even when they are teaching us how to differentiate.
12:09:12 BDay -> I think it's fine to have some PD dictated by the school district regarding the way they want things taught, but it must leave room for the individual. Otherwise no one buys into it.
Maureen -> Could there by something like a 23 things PD - choose your own and do it on your own time?
Sheila -> Differentiated especially for middle school. We are always clumped in with primary teachers. Sometimes it works, but . .
jackiegerstein -> Me too! Twitter on my iPhone has saved me from those types of PD
Spedteacher -> My principal says reason PD not differentiated is there is no time to plan. He told me he understands that teachers have the same handicap.
Elaine -> And that's my point. PD needs to be differentiated which makes it nearly impossible for a school or district to say it can offer generalized PD; however, if someone had a vision for what teachers could need in the coming months or years, there could be a place for school-wide PD. But it has to be planned.
Sheila -> We are starting to do job-embedded PD now.
Spedteacher -> Sheila Teacher PD should also account for different learning stles that teachers have.
Maureen -> @sheila- can you explain what you mean by job embedded?
BDay -> When do you do PD? Summers? Early release days? Planning time? I think that makes a difference as to how it is received.
Sheila -> Committee work now.
Lisa Parisi -> Hi Nedra
Nedra -> Hi Lisa
Maureen -> @sheila- sorry I've been in and out talking to the carpenter- may have missed what you said before
Spedteacher -> Elaine we never do schoolwide PD. It is all broken into small groups by subject or grade. Only time we do whole school is when major overall central admin system change is the topic.
Sheila -> Or if I present something to staff, like tech integration. Committee work, etc. Things you normally do .. .
Sheila -> Can understand, but what if that's the only PD the staff member gets?
BDay -> On average, how much time per week or month do you do PD?
Sheila -> How does that inspire, challenge, push one out of their comfort zone.
GingerTPLC -> I spend hours a weekday on PD.
Spedteacher -> Freedom to teach the way you want is HUGE!
GingerTPLC -> Weekends? More.
Elaine -> Could still do schoolwide PD even with grades or subject matter, esp for broader topics such as technology. And then break into grades & subject matter for a more focused exploration of that PD.
jackiegerstein -> I don't expect the time, I don't expect to be paid (except for conference fees) but I sure would like to be ackonowledged and encouraged to do so.
Elaine -> @GingerTPLC: you "do" PD all the time! I think any folks who are engaged in educational networks are constantly "doing" PD
Spedteacher -> True, Elaine, but only so many people fit into the computer lab. Our tech PD, what little there is, is all hands on.
Elaine -> And that's another great point @Spedteacher: having the resources. NEVER easy for schools.
Scott Shelhart -> I'm learning about PD by attending some sessions while still a college student. Doing it on my time/my dime. I think I learn more from PD sessions than my college classes
Maureen -> I don't like leaving the kids- the subs don't do things that I want
congerjan -> no release time for PD have to take personal days
Spedteacher -> I get penalized for seeking out more learning to help my teaching. I paid fortotal NECC costs, I paid for my Smartboard training, etc.
jamie -> @congerjan me too most of the time--little time available for PD
jackiegerstein -> Like a week's worth of Wong's First Days of School - painful!
congerjan -> I paid to go to state technology conf. and took personal days.
12:16:42 Maureen -> This year- after asking for several years- down to teaching one subject- 6 grade levels...expectation is that this will free me up to help other people with tech integration
Spedteacher -> Elaine, I'm very happy me school at least thinks about PD, how to do it, what its about, and makes the effort to make it better.
jamie -> one principal told me that I should "be careful about doing too much PD." Guess she thought it would give me crazy ideas! She's retired now though! :)
Spedteacher -> How do we tell teachers are engaged?
tearoof -> My district encourages us to turnkey whenever possible, but teachers don't always feel comfortable enough w/ what they just learned to lead a PD on their own
Maureen -> Fair isn't always equal- don't we teach that in K or before? Giving everyone the same PD or even same amt of time/$ doesn't work at my school.
BDay -> We are not allowed to attend conferences unless we are sent by the principal & then you come back & present to the staff. Use to have more autonomy in this.
Spedteacher -> We're encouraged to turnkey, too. But finding the opportunity to do it is our responsibility and is very difficult to do.
BDay -> We use to have professional leave days, before they days of budget cutting, though I usually had to pay for the class myself.
Elaine -> Plurk rocks!
congerjan -> I love Plurk
jamie -> I always have to pay for conferences/workshops myself. No money through school available.
jamie -> I do it though because I think it's the right thing to do. For me, anyway.
Nedra -> As a classroom teacher I quit asking to go to any type of workshops/conferences because it was always denied. Yet as the tech teacher the district pays for me to go to state conference and NECC 2 years in a row.
tearoof -> I usually get approved for one conference and one workshop per year
Sheila -> Can you all get PD for participating in this show?
jamie -> No.
Nedra -> no
BDay -> No
jamie -> Must be an approved CEU provider
Sheila -> What is the reason?
tearoof -> i hope to go to ISTE, will pay my own way- might have to take personal/ sick days
jackiegerstein -> Lazy learner in school, avid/active learner outside of school. Camp was the best!
Scott Shelhart -> me...bored to death. C's in HS.
12:22:28 Maureen -> I have gotten "negative" feedback from other teachers for paying for PD when the school won't pay for it and for staying late, going in on weekends, etc. I told them that it is not about them, but about me... but I understand what they are saying.
McTeach -> I never knew I had learning disabilities when I was young. Learning was frustrating!
Spedteacher -> Did HS and college on independent studies. Do the same with my learning as a teacher.
jackiegerstein -> Interesting - a group of school dislikers here!
Sheila -> @Jamie - what's an approved CEU provider?
tearoof -> Maureen, yes, union frowns upon pay your own way
GingerTPLC -> Your new teachers: how much time do they spend extra learning? How much time do we spend mentoring them--adding on to our school days?
12:23:42 jamie -> The district wants to approve in advance and to do that the activity must be an official provider like our regional educational service centers, etc.
BDay -> I have always loved school. That's why I'm so frustrated when educators don't present PD well. We should be the best at it.
12:24:19 jamie -> ISTE/TCEA would work, but still I must pay for it and getting release time to go to a conference during school year isn't always easy.
Maureen -> @tearoof it's a private school- no union, but many have the same opinion. If you do things without pay, the expectation is that everyone should
Spedteacher -> All our mentors are from inside the school. None are special ed, so I take on mentoring the new special ed teachers. Don't get paid or time for that, either.
Sheila -> @Jamie - could you present this/inform them and then show the chat log to them for proof of attendance?
GingerTPLC -> @BDay--we *Should* be the best at it! Amen!
12:25:26 Maureen -> @maria- I've moved out of K and preK and now teach 4-9...it's not the same because I have to give grades
tearoof -> @Maureen- my feeling is, I can't make everyone happy, so I'll just do what I feel is right for me and my studentsd
GingerTPLC -> I think instead of assigned mentors, the school culture should just be able to allow mentoring even if they're not asked. Gentle. Supportive. We're a village, right?
12:26:52 Maureen -> @sheila- in Mass. you have to go thru DOE to get approval to give pdps or ceus to people and it is a pain- paperwork takes months to get approved. I did it to give PD to teachers after school and be able to offer credit for it.
jackiegerstein -> Now I understand why this forum is more free flowing :D
Sheila -> I do get PD for ETT shows. Glad my admin "trusts" me as a professional.
Sheila -> Thanks Maureen for the explanation.
jackiegerstein -> I became a teacher because kids shouldn't have to put up with the pain that I had to - I create a classroom/teach in a way I WISHED I had been taught
Scott Shelhart -> At least you figured it out early. It took me 20 years to figure out I should be a teacher.
jamie -> I submitted various online activities that I did this summer and those will qualify for my state recertification for my library degree, but not for my yearly hours for my school district for our "exchange days". They really encourage us to go to workshops that they provide through the PD department.
Sheila -> Interesting . . .
BDay -> In order to recertify I must have Staff Development Credit. You can only get it through organized class through the AEA or colleges. Other things I do for myself, but no credit.
McTeach -> Who did the poll about that?
jamie -> Like @tearoof, I just try to do the PD that I think applies to me and will help me help my kids the most! Credit or not.
jackiegerstein -> Isn't it called Educon?
jackiegerstein -> Thanks!
Lisa Parisi -> ettconversation.blogspot.com
jamie -> Thanks all! Will have to listen to the podcast b/c I was late!
GingerTPLC -> Yay!! What's your SL name?
jackiegerstein -> I saw that - I will come and watch
GingerTPLC -> Beidermann?
Lisa Parisi -> Leesa Beidermann
jackiegerstein -> Click and sit
Sheila -> Thanks Jackie!
jamie -> I'm so glad other people have those SL problems! I'm so bad I get frustrated!
jackiegerstein -> ; )
jamie -> Thanks!
jackiegerstein -> See you on Wednesday in SL
GingerTPLC -> Thanks Lisa and Maria!!!
Nedra -> Thanks