PD That Actually Impacts Your Practice
This blog post was written by Jesse Parsley, a seventh grade math and special education teacher, and member of the 2014 Delaware Dream Team. It was originally published by Learn Zillion.
The Problem with Unfocused PD
Professional development, for me, has rarely been productive.
Though other professional development sessions I attended provided a basic understanding of the Common Core math standards (shifts, content standards and mathematical practice standards), I often left those sessions unsure of how to apply these concepts to student learning. Generally, my PD experiences did not take me to a specific, deep level that would help me in the classroom, and I was not sure how to get there by myself. Consequently, I was looking for a PD experience that would expose me to the rigor required by the new standards, and help me apply that knowledge in my classroom.
And that’s when I found out about the Delaware Dream Team and Delaware’s TeachFest.
Getting focus: Joining the Delaware Dream Team
Joining the Delaware Dream Team enabled me, along with a talented group of 33 other K-12 Delaware teachers, to focus my energy on creating formative assessments that elicited evidence of student understanding. We looked through the standards themselves, the progression documents, NCTM publications, and sites like Learnzillion.com to develop a better understanding of the CCSS. Through LearnZillion’s collaborative PD process, I was able to synthesize all these resources into a final product: formative assessment items I could use in my own classroom and share with my colleagues.
Unlike my past PD experiences, my work with the Delaware Dream Team helped me focus on the areas I wanted to address in my classroom. I was able to dive deep into the standards and directly translate my learning into classroom practice. This is how PD should be.
Why apply to the Delaware Dream Team?
The process of developing formative assessments, collaborating with my peers and then delivering the finished product to my students was a rich learning experience that I would recommend for any Delaware teacher. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next cohort of Delaware Dream Team members.
Find out more and apply here!
Applications close September 19th at 11:59 pm EST