Inspired by my experiences at EdCampChicago, I decided to try this model of PD in my elementary school. After sharing blogs by @stumpteacher, @4thGrdTeach and @dendari about their experiences at this “unconference,” my staff was excited to try it also. We gave a general focus to things that could improve our school. Everything looked poised for a great start.
We initially had a bit of a glitch in getting people to share ideas. I think this is partly due to this being our first effort. After spending a bit of time with only two ideas, a few more people proposed topics. With our five topics ready, we split into rooms. As conversations began, many people looked to members of our Instructional Leadership Team as if they were in charge of running each conversation. After a few minutes in each room, things loosened up and people started talking. Since most of my teachers are not on Twitter, we used a Google Doc to collect our ideas.
After 45 minutes of sharing ideas in small groups, we decided to come back together to share out with everyone. It was a good conversation in every room as we talked about a variety of ways to make our school better. I’m hoping that the ideas generated become reality and we continue the work we’ve begun. I’m excited by today’s result and I’m looking forward to further using this model next year.