As you read this you will be in that time we refer to as the home stretch. The remainder of the school year after spring and Easter breaks have wrapped up and the push is on toward year end. I emphasize push because there seems to be so much to do in the time that remains — productions, concerts, graduations, helping students prepare for the next phase of their educational lives, final exams and wrapping things up in your classroom.
It does not seem, however, like the time for professional development. After all, why would we have PD sessions at the end of the year as opposed to in the fall? Although this is a commonly held view, I disagree with it.
PD for teachers is hopefully not just for this year but is learning that affects our practice into the future. We should approach PD with the mindset that it’s part of our commitment to lifelong learning and embrace it at any time, even after spring break.
During a recent trip to Australia I shared our PD work with two different teachers’ organizations, and they were very interested in our model and committed to further conversation about partnering with us to improve public education through research and a professional development model. Now this may be because it’s autumn down under, but I choose to think that it is because of the quality of our programs.
The rest of the world looks to us as a model for teachers’ organizations, and even if PD opportunities come up in “the home stretch,” we should take advantage. The rest of the world wants to be more like us, so happy learning, and I hope that together we can “finish strong” down the home stretch. Maybe part of the “burn” can include some learning for us as well. ❚