We are working hard to encourage change and growth in all of our classrooms. Our teachers are connecting with others in our school while doing learning walks, leading to great conversations and follow up. But over and over, in meetings with administrators, teachers and tech coaches, the desire to connect our teachers with others doing this work comes up.
Most of the time teachers have already connected with their colleagues in their school, but want to connect with others at different schools who are teaching the same grade level or content area.
Yet we keep running into roadblocks –
- getting subs for school teams to visit other schools is a challenge.
- connecting online has limits. We have a space in our learning management system, we have a google+ community and a teacher share system to share lessons and materials.
- we have time set aside for teams from schools to get together each quarter, but the trouble of subs happens and the time away from classes is a challenge. AND these are limited teams from each school, one from a grade level most of the time.
- at our school, we’ve been sending teams of teachers to conferences. There have been some really great connections and conversations there, but that is pricey and again, the struggle of time away from class is real.
We have such limited time out of the classroom that getting connected is really important. Everyone needs someone in their PLN that they can connect with and ask their questions and share ideas and get input. Yet, logistics are soo hard to work out in a district of our size.
When we applied for this program, we wanted a pyramid wide PD day for edcamp. I wish we had more of those PD days… they are few and far between and hard to arrange for at least 9 (maybe 15 if we include other high schools outside our pyramid) schools involved in this to coordinate and find space. If we can’t get it done this year, I want to be sure to bring it up for next year. Maybe if we start planning now…