Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Stroke of "Genius"

How does YOUR school and district handle Common Planning Time and Professional Development?

Are the things that are worked on and presented during those times determined by the administrators? 

Is PD done primarily in a whole-group format, with lots of people in an auditorium, cafeteria or library?

Are your teachers active?  Engaged?  Excited to be there?

Are the things that are being taught meaningful to all of your teaching  staff?

To paraphrase Dave Burgess, "If teachers didn't have to be there, would you be professionally developing an empty room?

What if you did things differently?

What if you could create and support opportunities for your teacher's professional development while also increasing teacher leadership in your building and initiate the sharing of great practices with the whole school (and the rest of the world)?

And what if I told you, fellow administrator, that this would not require any additional effort on your part? In fact, it will keep you from having the usual, "what are we going to do this time?" concerns, that are often fraught with anxiety about how to use valuable time that we never seem to have, but is often wasted on presentations that aren't fully attended to or relevant to your captive audience.

Starting this week, EGHS teachers and administrators are beginning to use our weekly AM CPT time, as well as some faculty meeting/PD time (and prospectively duty time next year if things work out) to follow their own professional learning paths, based on their individual interests, passions, needs, and creative inspirations. 

New learning and projects will be designed by our classroom teachers- teachers who can follow whatever their interest or passion about teaching and learning may be, while simultaneously improving their practice for our kids and sharing their discoveries, products and creations back with the school and the rest of the world as well.

We've started a Genius Hour program for teachers!

But what is "Genius Hour"?  Check out this brief overview and see if you feel inspired by the possibilities.

We started with a Google Form that asks the following questions:

Those answers will lead to what we have jokingly referred to as a "Speed Dating/Learning" protocol next Wednesday morning, where our teachers can find collaborators for their new learning and projects.

The only thing that is required is that everyone's projects will be shared with the faculty and/or the world once they are completed before they move on to the next one.

I am so excited about the possibilities that can come out of a Genius Hour at a place like EGHS, and I am looking forward to the creative energy that will undoubtedly come from the teachers within our school… stay tuned...  

Great things are coming.

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