That’s a terrible question. We all know what bad professional development is, but it continues to happen all over the world. I spent Monday and Tuesday leaning a new e-grade book and I couldn’t help thinking of the ingredients that make-up a poor experience.
1. Rushed (Having to use or re-teach material/software within a week)
2. Errors! (A training model that is poorly constructed and functions sporadicly at best)
3. The Unknown (District application is still a week away, what is it going to look like?)
4. The Presenter (Most software people don’t speak in normal everyday terms, nor do they have the the fortitude to stick with “non-techies”)
5. Local Knowledge (Teachers are partial to certain functionality in grading, the presenter should be somewhat prepared for how the audience works)
The list could go on and on. Why are teachers being trained before the tech department? Why would you show your audience the entire system in three hours? It is extremely aggravating all around. The bottom line is when things like this happen you leave people with the option of not adapting. “It didn’t work,” I didn’t get it,” “I’ll never have time to learn all that.”
I realize sometimes time is an issue, but as the old saying still goes, “poor planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on mine”. We will get it done. We have a great staff and we always mange to shine no matter what is handed to us. I just hope that in the future more voices are brought into the mix of professional development and system change. All of this could have been avoided with a short conversation.
I didn’t learn much about our new grade book, but I did learn a valuable lesson.