It’s a shame that good news stories in education don’t hit the newspapers more often that these stories.
I led Professional Development sessions yesterday. I’m a certified SMART trainer and made this opportunity available to our teachers. As is normally the case, there was a waiting list longer than the number of people allowed to attend.
It’s a shame that the news story wasn’t “Teachers learn while on holidays” or something akin. After all, teachers do have the summers off, don’t they?
Tell that to the group of people who stuck it out in the hottest day of the summer to date. The thermometer in my car said 36 degrees when I left at the end of the day. The rest of the story was that in that dark ol’ hall in Essex, there was no air conditioning. So, you put a group of teachers in a room with all that body heat, computers, and no windows, it was pretty unbearable. Yet, nobody left because of heat exhaustion (although the instructor was tempted to many times…).
These teachers were there for the PD. Not for an immediate raise in pay, but because they wanted to improve the learning environment for their students.
On the other side of the world, Teachers Without Borders was doing a SMART Board session as well. I Skyped in and chatted with the leader in South Africa about what our district was doing with interactive white boards. Sharon Peters had a group of teachers that she was working with in Capetown. They were obviously similarly motivated to make the magic of technology happen in their classrooms.
As a leader of Professional Development, you do these things because you know that there will be an impact in the classroom. My focus is on computers and technology and there is a demand to improve learning opportunities for students … even during the summers.