Take professional development to a new level by jumping in to a book study with a few of your colleagues. Now wait, before you skip over this one because you “just don’t have time”; give me 2 minutes to try to convince you that this just might be fun and rewarding!
First: Round up a few colleagues. The group can be as small as two or as large as your entire staff. I personally enjoy a group of 3-5, so that we can bounce ideas off of one another while still remaining personal.
Second: Pick a book. Find a book focused on a topic that interests each of you, and will help you better serve your students. Topics such as leadership, classroom management, engagement and differentiated instruction may fit your need.
Third: Make a commitment. Reading a book and discussing ideas together in a group is effective because of the commitment. If I were to read a book on my own, I may not follow through. But with others counting on me, I’ll hold up my end of the bargain. Pick a time each week, every other week, or once a month to meet. Pick how many chapters you will have read during each time away, and how long you will meet to discuss what you read.
Finally: Make it fun and practical! Pick a fun book, fun colleagues, and a fun location. Meet at Starbucks or IHOP before school for your book review. Plan to meet for lunch at a sub shop, or bring donuts before school to one teachers’ classroom.
The goal is for you to find ways to improve and make your life easier by learning from literature and the experience of your peers. In the end you’ll leave the experience with new tools, new ideas, and new relationships!
Check these out!
Strategies for Great Teaching by Mark Reardon and Seth Derner
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey