Monday, March 17, 2014

Who decides when it's no longer 'optional?'

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately in regard to how professional development is conducted in schools.

Obviously I'm a huge advocate for ownership and self-directed learning because the traditional form of 'sit and get' and PD is done 'to' people rather than 'with' people has been over for quite some time now.

We know learning can and should occur beyond the walls of our own schools and the folks with whom we work on a daily basis.

We know there are experts and very knowledgeable people from all corners of the globe who are easily accessible at a few clicks of the mouse.

We know technology is and has been fundamentally changing the role of the educator and has strengthened the idea that learning is no longer limited to the four walls of a classroom.
We know there is no excuse for someone not being able to 'sharpen their own saw' if they are interested in learning more about a particular concept... the monopoly on learning has been over for a while.

So, when is the choice of using technology no longer an option?

When is the choice of reaching out to educators from around the globe to collaborate no longer an option?

When is truly differentiating classroom instruction and meetings kids where they are no longer an option?

When is taking ownership of your own professional learning and growth not a duty and responsibility of the district, but an expectation of the individual?

Sure, we can be slow and methodical in our approach and create opportunities for these shifts to happen so people don't feel overwhelmed.

But then again, who gets to be the person who talks to the students in these schools and in these classes and says sorry but we want to take our time and not rush things...?

Final thought... we also know with certainty that mandates and directives are ineffective and create a 'compliance' type environment rather than a professional environment.

So, who decides when it's no longer 'optional?'