From the beginning of the year, we've been trying to find opportunities to showcase some of the amazing things our staff currently does. The idea of mini PD's and break-out sessions came to life after experiencing Edcamps this summer and an encouraging break-out session the elementary participated in at Dunkerton earlier in the year! One staff member from our elementary even led his own session.
We asked our Specialists what topics they would be comfortable presenting on and from there...the idea took off! Monday we had our first ever break-out sessions led by our own staff! We offered nine different sessions on various topics. Some topics were broad, some were very specific. Some sessions were more full than others and had thus had to be split into two!
In the days leading up to this, nerves ran high (at least for me). I worried about how well the sessions would be received, whether or not I would fumble on my words again and say something weird (ask the middle school if you want to hear my failure at saying Twitter), and overall whether our staff would find something usable in our presentations.
Educators are humble people. We do our best every day for our students. We strive to make their day positive even when ours may not be. We strive to find new ways to engage them and tailor it to their individual needs. But...we are humble. We often think that what we're doing is just "normal" and that everyone does it.
What our staff at Jesup does is outstanding. Our break-out sessions were a complete success and some even said, the "best PD day they've ever had." And all we did was share what we were currently doing in our classrooms or things we thought could be useful to others. We asked our presenter teachers to allow time for questions, discussions, and collaboration. Time to tinker with technology or find a way to adapt this new knowledge into their own classrooms.
The feedback we received from teachers was extremely encouraging and overwhelming positive! Most believed they learned something they could implement in their own classroom and would enjoy doing that type of PD again.
Even more exciting - I myself have seen people trying things from Monday's PD already! If you have tried something and want to share it with us, send it to me via email or tweet it to me (@Mrs_Thornton10 or #jtlpsummitawaits).
I've even already heard people who aren't on the Teacher Leadership Team talking about what they would like to share with others! Let's face it...we're all leaders! We just need the opportunity to share what we know and become a leader! We might be perfect, but together we're pretty amazing!