Monday, November 3, 2014

Not Your Typical Professional Development Day

(courtesy pixgood.com)

Today the entire staff of the Hilliard City School District will spend the day personalizing their own learning in what the organizers are calling Hilliard University. Through what is called a "waiver day" in which the district applied for from the Ohio Department of Education, the teachers have crafted their own breakout sessions, over 140 choices, and will move about school campuses to take in learning that means the most to them.

The courses being taught are by them and it is for them.

After hours of planning, the organization for the day is simple. There is a catalog in which all of the courses are listed by location, time and audience. There will be "check-in" sheets at each session, some online at that. And, important to note, there will be nearly 2000 educators (certificated, classified and administrative) that are being given professional courtesy to get where they want to go and to learn what they want to learn when they want to learn it.


The agenda is their catalog. The "lunch break" is up to them. And, there are no reminders to get to the next session or "break times" when the bladder calls or the legs are cramped. Could your district pull this off?

And, simply stated, "Will it work?"

For the official answer, check back in 24 hours. In the meantime, consider the following:

  • We are personalizing education to our students and to their learning styles.
  • As educators we are introducing opportunities never used before.  Choice and Voice, PBL, Genius Hour and other innovative methods of instruction are a part of the planning process.
  • Blended Learning is a part of our vernacular. Connecting the learning environments and the technology is common practice. 
  • Innovative spaces are emerging at every turn. There is no traditional model of delivery. We are inventing new instruction spaces daily.
  • Technology and social media as a whole are consuming the work that we do with our community of learners. We are, like never before, connected.
  • And, we are teaching and learning with passion. 
Today is the ultimate test to see if we are as far in the process of teaching and learning as we think we are. We have been embracing these ideas, concepts and educational trends. We believe all of the work the time and the effort will be worth it.  We are risk takers.

And above all else we know it is what is best for kids.

For those that work here, we know that the HCSD is an innovative place. Now let's see if we can practice what we preach. Enjoy your not so typical day of professional development.

To see what is happening today during this Professional Development, check out @THEHilliardU on Twitter!