I do quite a bit of professional development for my district and beyond. And I think I'm pretty good at it. :) But, I have recently discovered a better way to deliver professional development for both me and my participants. I finally figured out that I have to get off the stage.
A few weeks ago I attended WOW Academy, hosted by Region VI. This is an intense 4-day academy that is PBL-focused and forces the teacher to become the student. At the end of the 4 days, I realized that this is exactly how ALL professional development should be run. If we are preaching PBL, shouldn't we be practicing it!?
I put this to the test with my Work Smarter, Not Harder session. I did a little bit of direct instruction talking about what a PLN is, what it can do for teachers, and what tools are out there. Then I turned it over to my attendees. They got into groups, drew a tool to research and had to create a presentation to deliver at the end of the day.
The results were really amazing and I had teachers tweeting me long after the session ended telling me how much they got from the session. And you know what the best part was - THEY were tired at the end of the day...NOT ME!
All I had to do was get off the stage. Just provide a little background information and turn them loose. Teachers, this is what you should be doing for your students! Let them CREATE and COLLABORATE! Let them research and discover. Let them discuss and problem solve. On their own! STOP SPOON FEEDING THEM! (There - I said it!) I promise you will NOT be sorry and at the end of the day - they'll be the ones who are tired and you'll be amazed at what they can really do!!