Create New Opportunities to Develop Your Teachers
Districts all across the country are looking for new ways to train their teachers, update their skills, and provide quality professional development. Unfortunately, teachers often leave PD days underwhelmed, bored, or stressed out. Teachers and administrators agree: professional development that lacks relevance results in minimal classroom impact.
Despite these issues, several districts in the Greater Cincinnati area, including Madeira City Schools, have embraced the challenge of providing quality professional development for their teachers and staff. One strategy has proved particularly successful in this regard: hosting bi-weekly lunch and learns (or mini-PD sessions during teacher lunch periods). Every other week, teachers bring their lunch and their laptop to a central location in the building and learn about a new Google tool that can be immediately applied to their practice. The progressive series of lunch and learns helps teachers prepare for the Google Level 1 certification exam and eventually earn recognition as a “Google Certified Educator.” Each session is short, yet power-packed, filled with practical tips and tricks that help teachers integrate technology skillfully.
Best of all, teachers aren’t required to miss class time, come early before school, or stay late after school to enjoy this professional development opportunity. It’s a built-in part of their day that doesn’t add another time-heavy commitment. Kristin Anderson, a choir teacher for the district, who attended the Google lunch and learns and earned her Google Level 1 certification raved about the program: “Going through the process of the lunch and learns was a fun and easy process. Tyler planned out all of this lessons in very manageable chunks and I never left a session feeling overwhelmed…Overall, it was a great experience and I am really glad I did it.”
The principal at Madeira High School, Dave Kennedy, also commented on the lunch and learns: “They have really motivated a technology-diverse staff to enhance their skills, therefore improving instructional pedagogy for the betterment of our students. This professional development opportunity met the needs of busy teachers, and the quality, concise instruction kept them coming back…Teachers really found the content useful, and appreciated the ease of access to the learning. I would highly recommend a similar program for any staff, especially Google education schools that utilize one-to-one education.”
Overall, the keys to making this opportunity a successful job-embedded experience was access to a technology integration specialist onsite weekly who could implement the program. Best of all, attending lunch and learn sessions afforded teachers the ability to earn CEUs, graduate credits, and their Google Educator certification! Giving teachers tangible incentives encourages them to develop their skills with technology integration.
For help developing technology integration skills, like those learned in the Google educator lunch and learn training sessions at Madeira, contact us to set up a three-day bootcamp to prepare your staff for the Level 1 or 2 Google Educator certification.
Call us today at (513) 761-3343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your district’s bootcamp!