Monday, July 6, 2015

Professional Reading--Should Students Have a Role in Professional Development?

Boss, Suzie (2015, February 26).  Should Students Have a Role in Professional Development?  Retrieved from

This article shows how professional development can come from anywhere!  Thinking outside the box can get teachers learning and experimenting within the community and with those they influence everyday.

How would you feel being taught by those who teach you?  Even if they know the subject inside-out, it could be intimidating.  However, some schools are seeing the benefit.  In Montana, students, who were knowledgeable in the technology of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), were used in a professional development program for staff.  The students were to plan and facilitate the lesson, which ended up being a hands-on learning experience for the teachers (Boss, 2015).

I think this is important to consider because we never know where our learning can come from.  Perhaps the students may not be able to provide us with strong pedagogy reasoning for doing things a certain way, but they can show us tools and techniques, while also making sure that we see them in a different light.  This can foster empathy and make us think about how we plan units or assess (Boss, 2015).  

We did something similar to this a few years ago when we had students in the middle school teach sessions during professional development time.  Three students each taught a different lesson.  They were Prezi, Pinterest, and WeVideo.  It was very successful; the staff learned something, the students felt empowered, and they received an understanding for what planning for a lesson could entail.

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