Have you ever wished you could be the proverbial "fly on a wall" in another teacher's classroom?
If you answered, "Yes!", you're not alone.
Some professional development is not practical.
As teachers, we spend countless hours enduring professional development on topics that are largely chosen for us. When we do have the interest, time, and opportunity to explore different teaching, assessment or engagement strategies, we might spend hours sifting through articles, books, and videos describing new theories and techniques. After all that, we're left uncertain as to exactly how we could incorporate it all into our real classrooms.
Most professional development is not content-focused.
With a Master of Science degree in chemistry, I am an expert in my field. Yet, as a high school teacher of at-risk students, I really need to know how I can transform my content for delivery, making it easier to understand or more relatable. If you are one of a few chemistry teachers in your school or if you have a mentor in your content area, simple and regular team meetings can certainly help with this. However, the struggle is real if you are the only chemistry teacher in a small private or rural school environment with no other staff who can relate to the complexity of the content.
Professional development is usually not collaborative.
As we teach it, the final step of the scientific method is "communicating our results". In the realm of real science happening in real laboratories across the world and throughout history, that report or journal article which served as the conclusion of a study to one scientist prompted new questions and experiments for another scientist. The reflection upon what's been done and the investigation of something new never ends! Imagine the possibilities for the field of education if teachers constantly reflect upon the work being done in other classrooms with the end goal of improving their own!
I'm opening my virtual classroom doors and inviting everyone in!
As a chemistry teacher in a virtual school, I have the unique ability to access digital recordings of all my lessons and review them whenever I want.
Follow my blog to observe my classroom, benefit from what I learn in my own self-reflection, and offer your own suggestions for improving my practice.
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