On January 28th, while students had a day off, MJGDS teachers spent the day learning together, sharing ideas and resources and nurturing our professional learning community. We watched Adora Svitak's TED talk, "What adults can learn from kids." We discussed the importance of deep, reflective learning.
We then had the opportunity to practice using our blogs (on our faculty ning) for professional reflection by writing our individual philosophies or vision statements. Here is the wordle of our philosophies:
Through this exercise we were able to see clearly our common beliefs about teaching and learning. Connecting these beliefs with our standards and benchmarks puts us in the position to think critically about our curricular materials and strategize our next moves in upgrading content and curriculum. Stay tuned!
In the afternoon session, we watched two short videos about passion, one called "Finding Your Element" from the ImagineIt Project and another short video that our very own Mrs. Tolisano created, also about passion (this one shows footage from our school, and we enjoyed it so much that we watched it twice.)
Teachers were given the opportunity to search the creative commons images on flickr to find one image that represents their passion. It was fun and highly educational. Many teachers were unaware of the image resources on flickr; others learned the importance of searching for images within the creative commons. As always, discussion centered around how to use these new ideas and skills in their own classrooms with their students.
Finally, teachers took the time to share and discuss our individual plans for professional development. Each teacher has identified a specific area for professional growth and outlined a plan for the year. During this session we learned about our colleagues' goals and discussed the connection between our passions and our professional growth as teachers.