A PD Week in Review

I recently read a blog post about the difficulty of fitting professional development into the school year. Despite a schedule that allows some time during the year for professional development, the post said most PD occurs during the evenings or weekends at home.

I began wondering how much time I spent doing PD outside of school hours, so I decided to chart it for a week.

A few disclaimers:

1. I counted PD that occurred while I was also engaged in other activities- driving while listening to Tribes, folding laundry while watching Sir Ken- so long as I felt I was sufficiently focused to be gleaning benefit.

2. I spend a lot of time checking Twitter but it’s sporadic and difficult to disaggregate PD use from personal use. I’ve erred on the side of underestimating my Twitter use. I’m sure I’ve missed other small interactions, too.

3. I stink at math, especially in a non-base 10 system, so my addition could be off.

4. I did not include anything directly related to planning or grading for my classes, although I’m sure they contribute to my development as a professional, too.

Saturday
Cruised New York Times/other newspapers 15min
Read, responded to, and forwarded Bill Ferriter’s post 30min
Revisited post and retweeted links related to it 30min
Read Kevin’s glogster book review and offered suggestions via Twitter 20min
Read Donalyn’s post 15min
Discussed inquiry-based learning w/ friend at lunch 15min
Downloaded audio book and discussed via Twitter 15min
2hr20min

Sunday
Cruised New York Times/other newspapers 30min
Watched Chris Lehmann’s NYSCATE keynote, tweeting quotes 1hr
Browsed at Shmoop and Pictory 30min
Read ECNing and responded to question 15min
Followed twitter conversations, esp related to storytelling resources 30min
2hr45min

Monday
Cruised New York Times/other newspapers 15min
Watched TED talk on danger of single story 20min
Wrote post based on TED talk. Posted to ECNing and reflection blog 1hr 15min
Listened to Sir Ken Robinson’s Hammer lectures 1hr15min
Responded to online colleague’s question re:websites for 5th/6th graders 15min
Listened Seth Godin’s book Tribes 50min
Tweeted re: various ed issues/questions 15min
4hrs20min

Tuesday
Cruised New York Times/other newspapers 15min
Listened to Sir Ken at NYSCATE 45min (significant overlap w/Hammer lectures but better than Hammer)
Read and responded to smeech’s post 45min
Tweeted re: various ed issues/questions 45min
Listened Seth Godin’s book Tribes 50min
Read and responded to Russ’s post 15min
Read EC Ning posts 15min
3hr50min

Wednesday
Cruising New York Times/other newspapers 15min
Responded to queries, shared student work on Twitter 30min
Listened Seth Godin’s book Tribes 50min
Watched TED talk 15min
Read about children’s v. Young Adult literature 30min
Played around with Twideducate 30min
Watched Justice at Harvard U 60min
3hr40min

Thursday
Cruised New York Times/other newspapers 15min
Listened Seth Godin’s book Tribes 1hr 10min
Responded to reporter ECNing query 15min
Played with Spaaze and Twiddla 30min
2hr10min

Friday
Cruised New York Times/other newspapers 15min
Researched options for EC Ning twitter feed embed and created screencast with ideas 1hr
Responded to tweets and shared links 30min
Discussed Web 2.0 w/colleague and shared student work 1hr
Read EC Ning posts 15min
Conversation with instructional tech director
2hr45min

Total for the week 21hr 50min

Reflections: My first thought was- Wowsers! I could totally forget this PD stuff and get a second job 🙂 But the truth is that I’d probably be doing this kind of thing anyway because I care about it and I’m convinced it makes me a better teacher than I would be otherwise. The things in the list above were food for me, and I either saw their influence in the classroom last week or expect to see it in the future. That said I am spending some time this Winter Break thinking about the way I allocate my time, since the past semester has felt unbalanced and I don’t know that this amount of outside work is sustainable.

So much of the PD I do happens online. I still read and listen to books, but I really appreciate the ability that Twitter, my blog, and the EC Ning offer to have ongoing conversations with other educators. I sometimes have conversations with school colleagues but our days seem so consumed by meetings, planning, administrative duties, and teaching.

What kind of PD do you find most useful? When does it occur?

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