Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reflecting on a recent PD

Reflecting on a recent professional development that I organized... Our school was getting to the end of the Scantron Performance Assessment, and I wanted to give the teachers at my school a briefing on the data the testing generated and a little bit of info on the kinds of resources available via the Scantron site. (Here's a link to a blog entry on how the testing went -- read the comment from Nicole Zumpano also.)

The PD consisted of two main parts. First I gave some background on the testing, described the kinds of scores Scantron site generated, and showed the teachers how to access the reports and resources. During the second part of the PD, teachers were supposed to look at their student data, and practice generating study guides and quizzes for their students.

Good things about the PD:
  • It was well attended.
  • Teachers paid attention to the information I gave them.
  • It didn't go on too long (about one hour).
  • I think I was coherent (not sure!).
  • I thought the handout and PowerPoint were good -- short, informative, supportive of the goals of the PD.
Not so good things about the PD:

  • I spent most of the practice time generating new passwords for the teachers, since they didn't know what their passwords were.
  • I don't the teachers had much of a chance to really see how the data and resources might be useful to them.
  • Time was short.
  • The PD was held in our building, and teachers wanted to get to other things they had to do in their classrooms.
  • I was lax about getting evaluations from the teacher, either no the PD or on the testing process in general.
  • The talking part that I did went on too long (I videotaped it, and was surprised to see that I blabbed on for 20 minutes).
If I was to do it over again I would:
  • Make sure everyone had a sense of the importance of the Scantron assessments (the data may be useful, the resources can be handy, teachers will likely be evaluate on their students performance on the test, the principal should reinforce the relevance of the assessments and resources) -- or more generally, make sure that there is a real need for the PD, and that the participants are aware of the need.
  • Do it off-site, so teachers wouldn't be so distracted by things in the building or their classrooms; or do it for teachers at another school.
  • Talk less, do more.
  • Have all of the password stuff straightened out ahead of time (!!!!).
  • Be better about collecting evaluations.
The handouts, PowerPoint, and additional info can be found here.

jd

1 comment:

Tech said...

Jim,

I think you gave yourself an honest assessment. This will help us become better at giving future workshops. Having the ability to see the workshop from the participant's perspective is a skill that we need to cherish. Working in a school full time reminds us of a classroom teacher's priorities.

Great honest reflection. Good Post!

-Lindsay