First, a disclaimer. This is not going to be a politically slanted post. The reason I put the “Does it Count” in the title is that three things have got me thinking about teacher professional development today. The first is provincial government’s decision to have more oversight of teacher Pro-D. I am not going to comment on how I feel about that decision right now, but it did get me thinking about what sorts of things that the government thinks would “count” as pro-d.
Some of the other things that got me thinking about professional development are things I can safely group together. Over Spring break, when parusing Twitter I came across the idea of coffeeEDU. ( coffeeEDU.org ). The idea is that teachers get together over coffee to discuss ideas and practice. That was followed a couple of days later by being invited to an Ignite Night in North Vancouver. For those of you who don’t know, an Ignite Night is an opportunity for teachers to meet at a restaurant and listen to other teachers present ideas that they are excited or passionate about. It was the last Ignite Night that I attended that inspired me to write this blog. The final item in this group of events that got me thinking about Pro-d was a conversation I had with Joy (since I have mentioned her I am sure to have more people view this post). She was talking about ways that our SEAs could find ways to collaborate and share ideas with each other. The thing that all of these things have in common is both their informal nature and how valuable they can be to teachers in growing their professional practice.
The final thing that got me thinking about Pro-d happened today. This weekend there is a Google Apps For Education Summit happening inVancouver that I wanted to attend but couldn’t. I was, however, able to learn from this conference by following Jodie Sussex and other attendees on Twitter as they attend the conference over the course of the day. Over the past year or so I have come to admire Jodie for the way she has embraced Twitter as a way to grow professionally and to share her learning with others.
I am not sure where the future of teacher professional development in B.C. is headed in the future, but what I do know is that theses opportunities for teachers to share their expertise and ideas with others is very important and effective Pro-d.