Voice & Choice & PD

After reading this blog post by Dr. Brad Gustafson and Jessica Cabeen, I was in awe of how they had planned, organized and executed their PD days. I’ve done a lot of reading on professional development, and have learned a great deal, especially from the amazing Katie Martin (if you don’t follow her on twitter, you REALLY should!). This lead me to want to create and live better PD days. Although I’m not an administrator (I’m currently a grade 1 teacher), I signed up to be on the PD committee at my school this year. So, at our last meeting when we were planning one of our upcoming PD days, I suggested that we use the blog post mentioned above as inspiration. We wanted to include the teachers’ voice and choice in the day. We also knew it would be important to embed reflection time in the day, (right  George Couros?). Finally, we wanted to create a day that went along with our school goals for the year; one of which is that every educator will try at least 2 new “approaches” this year (we say approaches, but it’s not limited to that… take risks, try something new). Here’s what our day today will look like:

Teachers will have the opportunity to come and go as they please to visit a few different sessions that will be given, in order to learn more about something that interests them. The sessions will be very informal and will go along with what the people who attend want and need. Our hope is that we can take everyone from where they are and help them to move forward. Here are topics we will be covering today:

  • Project based learning
  • Makerspace
  • Seesaw
  • Twitter
  • Blogging
  • Skype
  • Regie Routman

We also have a Reading Café set up, where educators are invited to take the time that they never have to dive into some professional reading. (I plan to spend at least an hour there today, and finally take the time to dive into Launch, a book that I bought in early January and haven’t had the chance to read yet).

Finally, at the end of the day, everyone will be given half an hour of reflection time.

It’s 9am, and it’s go time! I can’t wait to see what the staff thinks of the day! 🙂


  1. mattarend

    March 17, 2017 at 6:12 pm


    Thank you for sharing your experience and the post from Jessica and Brad. I had not read that. I look forward to hearing how your PD experience went. As a building leader, I am always seeking innovative ways to deliver PD for our teachers.

  2. Mena Hill

    March 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Our district has a teacher learning menu with a variety of sessions lead by teachers and learning coaches. Having sat through many “sit and gets” in my career and then experiencing the variety of choices this PD year, I have not only enjoyed the experience but feel SO invigorated and inspired. Your school is lucky to have an advocate for teacher and student voice and choice!

  3. Laurie Storm

    March 21, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I’m looking forward to hearing how the day went! Our PD days have been work days for teachers this year and our principal would like to move back toward “professional learning days” versus “professional working days.” The idea of teacher choices might help make this a smoother transition. I LOVE the Reading Cafe idea. Wow, and hour to read!!

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