Monday, November 8, 2010

A Grand In-Service Adventure

We are venturing outside of the box for today's all-staff professional development day.  Inspired by the "big ideas" we generated in our cluster groups last month, we are going to start the day with two minute "pitches."  Those giving the pitches are passionate about an idea they wish to turn into a cross-school challenge project.

These "elevator pitches" will be followed by a Challenge Based Learning "Open House" where those making the pitches can discuss their big idea with prospective teammates.  Who knows how all of this will turn out.

But up to this point in the agenda, the day promises to be  pretty much no-lose.  Whether she attracts a large team or not, a teacher may proceed with her project.  Those not interested in any of the pitches can quietly resume the CBL work which was started in their departments in August. Though there has been some confusion about all the options, I have tried to position the pitches as liberating opportunities, and indeed,  many of us are excited about the day.

The rubber meets the road after the teams have formed.  They will then be tasked with asking some tough questions about their big ideas.  Then the afternoon will be spent wrestling with answers to these questions.  I'm hoping that leads to some great conversations about education.

The counselors and administrators are going to drop in and out of the groups as "facilitators", serving as sounding boards or urging the teams to get back on track.  All the teams are going to meet in our media center so that transparency and networking have a chance to flourish.

I am sure there will be some hiccups-- Such is the nature of true collaboration.  Those of us guiding staff through the day are trying to model the very process we are hoping staff will try with students, so we'll be giving it our best shot!

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Adam Swank

1 comment:

Ann Lusch said...

It felt like a very productive day!

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