Tag Archive for professional-development

My Professional Development This Year

Amidst planning full faculty professional development activities for this year, I have also lined up a few dates for myself. My activities this year focus on leadership, curriculum revision, and social justice in education.

School Library Journal Leadership Summit

September 26-27, Seattle

I have never been to a full-on library conference, and yet I supervise our library director. It’s time to check this out.

NWAIS Educators Conference

October 9, Seattle

I have helped organize this one. Our regional association’s annual conference will feature an outstanding lineup of national and regional speakers on topics of social and cultural diversity and social justice. I am proud of NWAIS for embracing this topic in a timely manner. It is quite likely that diversity and justice will remain at or near the tops of our schools’ agendas for years to come. Students get the day off, and our entire faculty will attend.

Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice

October 17, Seattle

I am looking forward to experiencing this annual conference. A colleague brought this to my attention, and a number of our teachers plan to attend.

Independent Curriculum Group Academic Leaders Retreat

November 4-6, Abiquiu, New Mexico

Peter Gow and Jonathan Martin have organized an agenda that balances learning sessions, unconference discussions, and social time. I am looking forward to my first academic leadership conference since turning to instruction full-time. I also plan to soak in the New Mexico landscape, not having visited since 1994. U Prep became an ICG Partner this year.

NAIS Annual Conference

February 24-26, San Francisco

The single most attended annual event among independent school administrators. There is no better opportunity to reconnect with former colleagues and associates and learn the latest about their initiatives and challenges. The conference sessions themselves are a great way to understand what indy schools are focusing on. Last year, I resolved that it was not really possible to present a session, attend sessions, and recruit at the hiring fair. I resolve to do just two of these three this year.

 

What are you up to this year?

EdCamp Sessions Impress Again

Last week, over 70 educators from 50+ public and private education institutions, from Kindergarten to School of Education, gathered on a Saturday to explore topics of interest. Participants proposed and led all of the discussions, and all attendees actively participated. U Prep hosted the fourth edition of EdCamp Puget Sound.

I was uniquely impressed with the range and thoughtfulness of sessions. Titles included:

  • Teach (blank) Through (blank); Integrating Interests and Project-Based Learning
  • Twitter 101
  • Lecture-less, Screencast-based Learning in the New Technology classroom
  • Painless Failure, Practice, Revision & Creativity
  • Learning from and teaching 2E (twice-exceptional) kiddos
  • Construct meaning through experience; Service learning & moreSupporting
  • Stem & First Robotics: How is Special Ed Suppose to support?
  • Not “Mad Men”: Use advertising techniques to communicate like a leader
  • Content-area disruption: New school subjects?
  • Online Discussions & Journaling
  • Mentoring: What does it mean?
  • Let’s All Learn About #MysterySkype
  • Effective Group Work and Accountable Talk
  • Conversation Around Blended Learning
  • Teacher Leaders; Teachers of the Year; Tech & Learning
  • U Prep Ac. Tech Q&A:Device Program, Comp Sci, Maker Lab (etc.)
  • Engaging social justice w/all students (not just the ones who opt in!)

I also benefited from the vast range of perspectives and life experiences present at the conference. EdCamps truly bring together a vibrancy of shared ideas unmatched by other education professional development events.


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Vital Training: Mac Essentials

What could be more exciting than running a workshop on computer basics? Nothing! Today, I wrapped up a two day workshop that we called “Mac Essentials.” Five teachers attended, and we filled up the agenda ourselves between their questions and my thoughts. We covered all of the fundamental aspects of the Mac OS, such as the desktop, applications, documents, the dock, application menus, and the iLife suite.

In this age of social media and personal learning networks, it might seem antiquated to offer a workshop on computer basics. However, I suspect that most of our users have a working knowledge of their computer, not a thorough grounding. Users develop creative workarounds in place of right commands or tools. Today’s attendees expressed such gratitude for answering some very longstanding questions they had! We experienced a lot of “a-ha” moments when we covered keyboard shortcuts, PDF creation, and the Documents folder.

It remains a challenge to teach file server connections to beginning users. The fairly ordinary appearance of a network volume desktop icon does not reflect the conceptual leap of opening a window to another machine on the campus, location unknown! Perhaps the old Windows Explorer did the job better. A web browser certainly makes it clear that web pages are not on one’s computer.

What trainings do you offer your employees during the summer? How do you help your users both reinforce the basics and explore new tools?