It occurred to me… sadly… only after I was done with my series on professional development for students that I never really explained what that was and how it differs from traditional teaching. So two things… I am an Educational Technologist so while I do support students and staff on a daily basis… I do not have a classroom of my own. Secondly, the content I share in these professional developments (while complementary to curricular content)… goes beyond the content shared in the classroom, will not be tested, and is information that they can readily apply to their personal and academic lives. So I guess that is the real distinction. Similarly, to each chapter of my book, “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students”, where I made sure that each type of communication was steeped in SEL, each of these student-focused professional developments that I discuss weave in a range of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies as well. For example, the session on “Organizing Your Digital Binder” narrowed in on organizational skills, the session on “Bonkers for Bullet Journals” targeted Self-Management skills like goal-setting and self-motivation, and the session on “Managing Your Digital Experiences” honed in on Responsible Decision Making skills and Self-Awareness.
5+ Avenues to Deliver PD to Students
While these sessions could very easily be woven into a classroom or within the daily curriculum, I wanted to clarify the content, focus, and design… as I had had several questions over the past few weeks. The list below is in no way exhaustive… but does showcase 5+ different topics for student professional development as well as 5+ different methods for delivery:
- A Whole Day: The session I delivered entitled “Bonkers for Bullet Journaling” was roughly 30 minutes long and was part of a day of choice-based (students chose from a schedule of experiences) learning for students.
- Half a Day: The session I co-presented on “Managing Your Digital Experiences” was a 45 minute sessions and was part of a half-day rotation (all students attended each of the 4 sessions).
- Stations During the Day: This session that uses the Base Camp model utilized 4 stations (lasting 8 minutes each) that all students rotated through during one class period.
- Class Pop-In’s: This is probably the most traditional way to deliver professional development to students. Oftentimes, a teacher will ask me to lead or co-teach a session so I will come in to class for 10-30 minutes depending on the topic. The most popular one to date seems to be visual literacy and presentation skills.
- Class Rounds: This is similar to Class Pop-In’s but students come to us in a fixed location like the library and we meet with every class within a grade level (rather than just the teachers or classes that have requested the topic to be shared with their classes). The topic we focused on here is organizing a digital binder.
- Lunches: This is a bonus avenue. I ran a bullet journaling professional development that focused on setting up a bullet journal and a calendex in December. I set up a table in a high traffic area in the library during lunches and provided all of the supplies. As this session was optional, I promoted it on campus through fliers and our student-led announcements. Here is the full write-up on this session.
While I work with teachers, my ultimate goal is to impact our students… whether it be through the training and support I provide to our staff… or working directly with our students. I hope this post helps you to think differently and/or creatively about the “professional development” you provide for your students. And as always… if you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out on Facebook, Twitter, or even email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I would love to connect.
Students Need PD too!
As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last few blog posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:
- iPad Base Camps for Students
- Note-taking Skills for Students
- Presentation Skills for Students
- Bullet Journaling for Students
- MORE Bullet Journaling for Students
- Managing their Digital Lives: Tips for Students
- 5+ Ways to Deliver PD to Students
Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!
WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?
If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email email@example.com.
And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”