A Call to Action

Why:

What is wrong with the current professional development model?  Allison Gulamhussein addresses this question and provides her readers with some insight.  She argues that the workshop style model of PD doesn’t have an impact on teacher learning because the one day model doesn’t last long enough for teachers to master the new skills they are learning.  A teacher needs at least twenty practice attempts to master a new skill, and we know that most workshops don’t give teachers time to interact with the information during workshop time.  Guskey further argues that twenty opportunities in and of themselves are not enough.  Teachers need to see how successful the method they are learning is with the type of students they serve.

What: My View Of Professional Development Currently

How: The Story Behind The Story

Who is my audience? One of the biggest takeaways that I’ve had from this program deals with my peers in the program. THEY ARE GREAT! Super kind, always willing to help, no cut throats, no back-stabbing etc. I must admit, that I get the feeling that they sometimes think that I am brash when approaching class discussions and controversial topics. I wonder what they would think if they knew that as brash as they perceive me to be, I am considered to be kind and gentle in my circles at work. Is this digression important? Yes! The people that I work with would find this type of video to be true and entertaining, but mild (no direct references, no unflattering references, etc.). This video is going to be a great icebreaker for the people that I work with.

In terms of method or technique, I am not creative.  I thank God (and I mean that in the literal sense), that he provides me with ideas. As I think about the assignments, ideas seem to  just come to me. While I was contemplating the assignment, all that I knew before filming,  is that if this is going to be a “call to action”, I need to show what is currently being done so as to allow my audience to compare and contrast.

For the video, I had the idea to be sarcastic. The idea is, “What PD presenters wold say if they told you the truth.”  If you look at it from that perspective then you might believe that I’m pretty accurate (obviously it’s not 7 million slides).  So I just jotted down a few ideas that I think we can all agree on. 

Fun Fact: You’ll notice I’m wearing the same shirt, and that’s because I filmed it on the same day. 

How did I create the video? Let’s start with the picture.  If you look very closely at the beginning picture, you will see a button in my right hand as I’m PRETENDING to be asleep. I set my camera up by my desk, and then I took a picture.  Next, I did a voice over using my voice recorder app on my Samsung phone.

PowerDirector for Android

The video was shot in my classroom using Google slides and these new presentation / whiteboard TVs that we just got.  I noticed I said “hey” quite a bit, I guess I’m in coaching mode.   

Most of my videos are made using PowerDirector there will be another video on this page in which I use Screencastify. How can you tell which one I’ve used? If there is a picture within the picture, that is Screencastify if there is any other edited video, that is PowerDirector. 

Fun Fact: If you pay close attention you will actually see where PowerDirector made a mistake. PowerDirector is great editor (I’ve edited hundreds of videos), and it rarely happens that it makes mistakes.  Look at the bottom left-hand corner in my picture gallery.  You will  see a screenshot of me laying down  at my desk. If you look closely I had a music track that was supposed to be playing while I was doing the voice over.  You can see that I have it in the final cut, but for some reason the track  did not get put into the video. I rendered the video twice and it still didn’t work. I suppose if I was making an Avengers movie I would have to go back and render it until it appeared, but in this case I couldn’t figure it out so it didn’t make the cut. 

The “With Honors” music track did not render in the video even though it is on the storyboard.

HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE:

According to Allison Gulamhussein, there are five principles that are needed for effective PD. As you watch the video ( If I list the five principles, you won’t watch the video), I have pointed out how Nadia Gonzalez and I implemented the 5 principles during an informal PD session that took place in May of 2021. “Be the Change” is not the plan that I will be implementing the PD principles with, but for the purposes of this page, we can examine this presentation. As I go about pitching my innovation plan to my colleagues, I will need to make sure that I take advantage of Allison’s principles. You can see my innovation plan >>>here<<<. As a group we are going to need to have the growth mindset. Click >>>here<<< to see how you can implement the growth mindset in your life.

WHY SHOULD IT BE DONE THIS WAY?

According to the Mirage report, school districts are spending as much as $18,000 per year, per teacher on professional development. The caveat is that the study showed that most teachers do not make any valuable improvement from year to year due to professional development. In fact, the study points out that approximately 30 % of teachers improved, 50 % remained the same, and an astonishing 20% of teachers digressed. Further evidence supporting the informal professional development like “Be the Change” can also be found in the report. Among all teachers studied, informal collaboration is viewed as the best form of professional development. To answer the question of “why” more specifically, the way that we are currently doing things does not work.

References:

For over 25 years, I have been working with incredible teachers. Many of these teachers mentored me, shared ideas, and inspired me to create. I spent along time working in a department where we would actually compete to see who could make the best lesson. I am currently in a group that shares lessons. What they don’t know, is I am silently competing with them trying to make my lessons better than theirs. If there is any value in my stuff, these are the true references.

and then…..

Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the Teachers Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability. Center for Public Education. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/system/files/2013-176_ProfessionalDevlopment.pdf

Heather Hill. (2015). Review of The Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth about Our Quest for Teacher Development. Harvard Graduate School of Education. Retrieved from http://www.greatlakescenter.org/docs/Think_Twice/TT-Hill-TNTP.pdf