A “Happy Meal” PD Prototype That Will Make You Grimace

hm_choicesThe the support of a great team, which includes @brenthurley, and in true McDonalds fashion, we have implemented a Professional Development Framework that involves some of the key aspects (choice, level of committment, substitution & 24/7) of what some consider to be the next generation of PD.

We have introduced and maintained a variety of PD initiatives this year to help empower teachers in their pursuit of teaching excellence.

Google Site – Our LCS Edtech site has videos to the most frequently asked questions so that faculty could troubleshoot issues or check out new tools that would help them with their teaching. We were getting very few hits on this site, and I dissatisfied with the layout, so this will be a project this summer!

Connected Educator Ninja Warrior Program – courtesy of @gnichols. This is as self-directed as it gets and the Ninja Warrior Stickers and Incentive Program made this an instant hit at my school – although the Red and Purple Belts have slowed down many. The positives are that 15+ people are now on #Twitter and creating their PLNs.

PLC – A group of Teachers, Teaching Fellows and Residential Assistants who meet once a month to explore the #Cohort21 #Toolkit – more people on Twitter!, Tech Integration Frameworks, and #DesignThinking and next steps. We have over 18 people signed up but only attract about 10 when it comes time to meet. All of which is shared via Google Drive for those who can’t be in attendance.

Tech Talk & Tea with B & D – We offer sessions during every prep period over the course of two weeks where teachers can drop in to talk about things they want to explore. We have kept it wide open which was successful but found a hybrid of offering new tools and open sessions creating a learning environment where Mary Antoinette would be proud! We have had varying degrees of success with this initiative although people say they like it. Could be the product of the time of year.

Collaborative Time – This happens once a month on Wednesday mornings, where staff can choose different sessions. We have run introduced #socrative, #edpuzzle, #docappender #classroom with #doctopus & #goobric add-on as well as Choose your own Edventure based on the apps on the Mac. Most recently we used this time to Celebrate Success at LCS a great idea by @laurann that was both inspiring and rewarding for the 15 people who attended the session.

screen-shot-2012-01-10-at-9-47-05-pmBadging – Our most recent endeavour that is yet to be unveiled is a badging system that will recognize effective use of technology that improves student learning. In keeping with the Ninja theme – we’ve had stickers from Zazzle made up and will be following the Tech Integration Matrix in handing out Tech Adopter, Adapter, Infuser & Innovator.

All of these initiatives happen in addition to getting in to classrooms, and working with teachers shoulder to shoulder to innovate and push learning to new heights. Most recently, I am working with Linda Warren who is an art teacher here at the school. We are in class with the students and we’re exploring Google Docs – Research feature to help students with a research piece and presenting a Google Earth Tour based on their topics. Here is an infographic on making better use of Google Search!

All of these initiatives are implemented with the goal of empowering teachers to take risks and innovate in their classrooms. What I learned from working with so many of my colleagues and our Celebrating Success at LCS session is that many feel empowered to push themselves and that there are great things happening. Having an open mind with respect to shifts in teaching is important. It speaks the #growthmindset.

After many great conversations with Cohort 21s @gvogt about growth and change in education, I proposed to the faculty association that we come up with set of agreements. A code that teachers of Lakefield College School faculty live by that is in line with the mission, values and strategic plan of the school and reflects the ever changing educational landscape. Hopefully we can move forward with this and continue to learn and grow as a community.


Does this type of thing exist at other schools? A set of common agreements as a faculty or staff or students for that matter? Is this too much – should the menu be more refined so as not to overextend the ingredients?

3 Replies to “A “Happy Meal” PD Prototype That Will Make You Grimace”

  1. Derek Doucet, I appreciate the pun but I’m not grimacing. Thank you for this glance into your inspired and inspiring endeavours, and I think your approach to the faculty models a great approach to the classroom – inspiring/supporting innovation, risk taking, learning through doing, celebrating, etc… I wonder if your school has framework for what PD means beyond the broad concept of innovation/risk-taking/celebration/open-mindedness. Like an exploration in the classroom I’m imagining three or four essential questions that speak to a concept of what learning looks like at your school.

    Man, that infographic on google searching is nuts! Who knew it was an art-form. And yes I suck at google searching.

    Yes! we do have a set of agreements as a faculty and very recently we’ve worked through a process of updating/re-writing our agreements. I should say, this was a very powerful process of all faculty working together to co-construct the criteria – very similar to a process you might use in a classroom for assessment and one that’s become common at our school after working with game-changing guru Sandra Herbst. In total we have eight agreements that capture all aspects of the experience – work/life balance, learning, pd, collegiality. This common understanding is, I think, essential to all we do here as a faculty.

  2. Common Agreements are imperative. Sadly many view this as a loss of autonomy or being ‘micro-managed’ but in reality having an agreed upon set of pedagogical standards and shared beliefs about pedagogy, assessment and evaluation allows a learning community to flourish. You are doing amazing things and your commitment to life-long learning is infectious.

  3. Derek – This idea is so exciting! I’m VERY unfamiliar with badging apps, etc. I see you have been using Ninja Warrior – What are you using to deliver the new badges?

    The most exciting parts about this are 1. the agency teachers have in the process (how much to buy in, what to buy in to , etc.) and 2. that your school is so open to dynamic PD.

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