Friday, December 2, 2011

What I Notice About Professional Development

I went to another Professional Development session last night and got to see a couple friends from school yay!  Oh yeah but I also learned something great about doing learning stories, far more useful than what we learned about learning stories in college.  I enjoy PD sessions, it’s nice to be in that type of learning setting again.  However, I do wish people would speak up!

Last night there was eight of us there, everyone knew at least one other person and yet it was still like pulling teeth to get responses from the crowd when the facilitator asked a question.  It was like being in the first year of college all over again.We all know that everyone there had good thoughts and ideas, I know for sure that at least half of us were college graduates, and everyone works each day in the same field (some folks were school age staff).  Why go to PD if you have no intention of taking part?

I get singled out enough as it is at things like this because I’m a guy.  In fact in a company of more than 150 employees I’m the only male ECE, and just one of two guys that works for the company!  So to pipe up with a response or answer first on each open question the facilitator gives makes me a little on edge I guess (I’m so glad Keri had things to say first only a few questions in a couple of times!).

It is not about appearing smart or trying to be right, it is about moving the whole process along.  I do not want to give up my evening to spend a quarter of it sitting in silence waiting for someone to be brave enough to give a response, just say what you have got to say. 

In school I truly believe that it was my early ridiculous answers or actions that gave some of the other members of the class the ability to speak up without worrying about being wrong.  I mean after a college instructor asks a group of students how you can effectively discipline a child and I make a backhand motion in plain view of that instructor and get a “Chris! You can’t do that!”  Any answer is a good answer and folks say what’s on their mind.

Take part in your own learning, speak up, be unafraid to say what’s on your mind.  The whole learning process is much more enjoyable that way.  And it moves along a heck of a lot faster!

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