Coming into my first year of teaching I remember feeling as though I only knew half of what I needed to in order to be a successful teacher. However, I have always been someone who sets out to find answers when I feel unsure or need a solution, so as a teacher I often still consider myself a student.
I remember the week before my first year as a teacher started, that first week before school is always about filling teachers in on information, completing trainings, and going through Professional Development. I think it is the “student” in me who always gets excited about Professional Development days because I relish the opportunity to learn, and thankfully my school does an AMAZING job at creating not only interesting and helpful professional development, but often give teachers choice in what sessions or PD they go!
One of the most interesting aspects of Professional Development/Learning for my school comes in the form of a Teacher’s Choice BINGO board. Oddly enough, this bingo board was one of the main things I remember when I visited my school for the first time (even before I accepted my position), and it was so cool to be able to take part in such a unique professional learning experience my first year!
Our Digital Learning specialist wanted to create a way for teachers to not only better their craft, but have fun doing it through activities and lessons they personally chose that fit them and their classroom. Plus, if you have a “tiny” competitive side (like me) then this activity gets even more exciting.
The professional learning opportunities through this BINGO board range anywhere from watching and reflecting on a TED talk, to incorporating technology into your lessons using the SAMR method. This PPL learning challenge helped me to think outside of the box, look for and take advantage of opportunities to learn more and grow as a teacher, as well as challenged me to self reflect and give feedback to others. After each completed activity or learning experience we then fill out a google form, writing a reflection, sharing positives and negatives, or sharing pictures of what we tried. Then, the best part is we get a sticker to add to our board!
While this is simply a brief overview of this incredible Professional Learning tool at our school, I will be sharing some of my own reflections and personal experiences with this in upcoming posts.