Today was the first full PD day I had with my new staff at Ridgemont HS. I’ve really enjoyed working with this great group of educators, but today I really got to see how these people work together to further their own thinking. Like most PD days, there were some required tasks we had to cover, but the staff were receptive to what we had to present. Then the real thinking/work came and the staff moved right into the heavy lifting of the day.
Staff presented and led the discussion. They gave their colleagues small white boards (non-permanent surfaces) to make notes and record ideas about the day. They encouraged discussion and reflection on the topic. They helped us see the validity of our thinking with regard to our plan for closing the achievement gap of an identified segment of our student population. And all of this was before lunch!
The afternoon was spent with colleagues at lunch — the first time we had all really had lunch together this year — and then we were in small groups discussion descriptive feedback. It was amazing to be part of that conversation, not leading it but participating in the questioning and discovery. We finished the day with wellness activities that were lead by a variety of staff members. What a wonderful way to spend the day!
As an aside, I did spend time making notes on a whiteboard about professional learning, and a few of us shared ideas via Twitter. These were interesting ways to extra our thinking.