Teaching tends to be a solitary endeavor. Sure, we deal with people everyday but the average teacher goes into a classroom and teaches on their own, seldom getting to see another teacher actually teach and receiving relatively little feedback. As a result, we tend to teach as we were taught. Attending a professional development meeting so someone can tell you what worked for them (or what someone told them worked well or what someone thinks will work well) may give us a new idea or two but it is difficult to keep up the momentum day after day in our classrooms. And, two or three hours of sitting in a meeting when our minds are on the papers we could be grading or lessons we could be preparing is not always effective.
What if you could watch other teachers in a real classroom? What if you could watch them teach, try it out in your classroom, and then go back to watch again to see what you missed? What if you could do this on your own schedule – just before you are planning that new lesson to meet the newly revised standards? What if you could interrupt them while you jot down a note or get a drink? With videos, all these are possible.
The use of video in professional development continues to grow throughout the education world. The OPSRC is no exception. Research shows that video, when used appropriately, can be an effective tool for providing training to a wide audience. We are partnering with PD360 to provide a video library that allows members to watch classroom teachers use a variety of methods to effectively present material to students in a classroom setting. Most of the videos are relatively short, making it easy to find time to watch them on your schedule and, because the library will be open all the time, you can go back and review them or share them with other teachers.
Because we know that video alone may not answer your questions, OPSRC will be providing 4 regional workshops on focus topics throughout the 2015-16 school year. Two weeks before the face to face workshop, you will be provided a couple introductory videos that will introduce the topic and discussion points. At the workshop, a facilitator will go over the material in more detail and allow time for questions and discussion with your peers. Then, a couple weeks later, you will be provided with a two more follow-up videos with additional information, suggestions, and support. As members of the OPSRC family, you will be able to revisit these videos at any time as well as access other videos in the extensive PD360 library.
In the next few weeks, mailers will be sent out to the district with the dates and topics for this year’s series. Be watching for those mailers and for more information in this blog. For more information, contact Carole.Kelley@opsrc.net