If it’s Good For Kids

Draft Week

At different times over the past three years, I have written posts, or started to write posts, and for some reason I haven’t been able to work some of them out. For one reason or another, the idea wasn’t finished or at least not at the level where I felt it was good enough to publish. I have recently had the desire to go back and finish some of those posts, so this week, I am going to finish 5 posts that have been sitting in my draft folder for a while, in some cases, over two years. I picked five that I wanted to finish, maybe not the best, but ones that I needed to work out and take the time to finish because they meant something to me. Today’s post was originally written on June 14th, 2013, and ventures into a topic I believe will become an area of interest for me, professional development. All week, whatever I had written will be in italics and then I will add to the post to finish it. Kathy Melton is joining me in this week long return to posts we never finished, her blog can be found here.

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Penn State

We have been bouncing around a lot of ideas about change and innovation in education this year, and having great conversations about where we might go next. I find that there come times in conversations about education where we lose our steam and we come to a lull. I also find that the best way to invigorate the conversation, if you haven’t already done so, is to ask what would the students say about the topic? Sometimes we forget that what we are doing has a lot to do with our students, and considering their thoughts about what we are doing is vital.

As we plan for our Educator Innovation Day, I have been thinking about applying the same desire for change and innovation we have for our students education to our own learning. Collaboration, Choice and Flexibility are words that come up as we brainstorm ways to change education, maybe these are key to changing professional development as well. 

What can I say, it was June and I got busy. So this is where I will continue…

What I hope to see in professional development is that we practice what we preach. We need to help make the learning personally meaningful, connected to a wide and authentic audience, and flexible in its delivery and setting. We want to be supportive of risk taking, and motivators of active research from our staff. We should be modelling these aspects of learning and sharing in our own professional development as well.

If it’s good for kids, it’s good for us, because learning is learning. I believe that when we get together as professionals to talk about where education should go, we should always consider what students would say about it. I also believe that when we come across a great learning experience that our students are participating in we should also ask how we could apply that to our professional learning. Is this a valid point? Can we apply the way our students learn best to our own learning? What are your thoughts?

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