I have been in a similar situation multiple times within the last three weeks in which I had to talk about my ideas/thoughts on PD for educators and I actually came up with something that sounded smart…I think.
I know there are as many ways to describe effective PD as there are actual effective PDs, but I see it as a life cycle. You first become a consumer of PD, then a participant of PD, and finally a producer of PD.
I think most would understand what I mean by a consumer and by a participant, let me take a minute to explain what I mean by a producer of PD because I believe, at least for me, true PD did not happen until I became a producer.
A producer of PD is not just companies, consulting firms and district personnel, yes they all play a role in PD but not the only roles.
Becoming a producer means:
- instead of just reading blogs and books, you write
- instead of being in a twitter chat, you moderate one
- instead of going to conference sessions, you lead one
- instead of leaving your PLN to chance, you become deliberate in creating it
This list could go on for a while but I hope you get my point, be active in creating the PD you want and need. Sometimes no one will read your blog, join your chat or listen to a podcast, but that does not matter. If you spent time planning, reflecting and creating you will have grown as a professional.
Many times we tell students one of the best ways to learn something is to have to teach it, yet as professionals, we want to spoon-feed our own learning.