Originally posted on Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Professional Development on Your Time, PDOYT, is my new mantra. In fact, on the daily email I sent out to faculty each morning, PDOYT was a new section. Rather, it was a newly titled section that seemed to resonate with the teachers. As we enter the summer, “relaxation”, season how can we use PDOYT to continue learning and prepare for the upcoming school year. This is not just a topic I am interested in. By the number of articles and tweets I am seeing about this, many educators are wondering how to do PDOYT. In fact, I recently hosted a Twitter Chat for #isedchat, and this was the very discussion topic.
Now if you are looking for a list of ways to accomplish PDOYT, this is not the blog post for you. There was a very good blog post on PDOYT avenues from Lisa Bliss on Edmentum, How to Stay Focused on Teaching Even When You’re Not Teaching. Or check out the #isedchat from May 25. 2017 for some ideas.
I am writing about the bigger picture. Because while PDOYT sounds like it should be the easier way to gain new knowledge or dig into a topic of interest, PDOYT is actually hard. Making time for ourselves is not what most educators do. In fact, we chose to be educators because of our passion to help others grow! So sometimes it is easier to attend a scheduled conference or workshop (both have their place in the learning continuum) for our professional development. Setting aside time to read a trade book, even after buying the book with the intention to read it immediately, is hard. During the school year, we are exhausted at the end of the day and want to spend time with our families. We often promise ourselves that we will start that book or online course or “attend” a Twitter Chat over a school break. Summertime seems like a long time, perfect for rejuvenating the mind with ways to enhance student learning. But vacations, family time and just the feeling of wanting to do nothing can set in. All this is normal and shared by so many educators (although reading tweets and blogs can make you feel like you are the only one feeling like a sloth).
So what to do? Be reasonable. Plan on doing one thing this summer and put the time in your calendar (paper or digital) to do it! You do not need to schedule a whole day, 15 minutes at a time will be enough to see the book start to be read, or the unit being revamped, or the app learned. Pop into a Twitter Chat, just for a few minutes and glean some new ideas. I will be dong this right beside you because I have a stack of education books to wade through but I have set a goal of one per week this summer. That is reasonable for me and my time this summer. At the end of the summer we can celebrate together with a new habit of taking some time for our professional development that is reasonable and relevant to my leaning needs.
Enjoy your PDOYT!