Let's talk Professional Development for a minute...
Why is it that so often when a new concept or teaching skill is introduced to teachers they are often given 1 - 3 hours time to understand it, digest it, question it and internalise it.
A few staff meetings perhaps or a half-day in the holidays and then it's back to business as usual. Sort of. There might be a follow up discussion regarding how things are coming along or a visit to classrooms to see the new concepts in action but other than that, you're on your own.
It takes TIME to implement new strategies in classrooms. It takes TIME to reflect on how those new concepts will affect your teaching style, your teaching programme, your KIDS.
We don't expect kids to all learn new concepts at the same rate but for reason we often do that with adults. We allow children to have a say in what they need to learn next but so often teachers don't get that luxury.
We know that students who have a say in what they learn and how they learn....learn better. We know that they need time to grasp new concepts and furthermore they need time and support when applying new concepts. It's well known that application of a new strategy is harder than just understanding what it is. Do teachers get enough time and support when applying new strategies in their classrooms?
Here's my two- cents worth.....give teachers an opportunity to have some control over what they need to learn next and how they need to learn it. Give them time to understand a new concept/strategy and more importantly give them time and the support to APPLY it.
In my past life as a teacher the 'photocopier talk' went something like this:
'I was so inspired by that PD....I really want to try it out in my class....I just don't have the time to re-design my programme or get my head around it...I wish they would give us time to actually bring this PD to life....'
Possibly some missed opportunities there.