One of the things I appreciate most about the administration of Brainerd Baptist School is the commitment to professional development. Whether it’s modeling from the top, designating the necessary funds within the budget, or the consistent mindset of improvement that brings this to life, the culture among the faculty is one of growth and progress.
It seems as though every few weeks, a member (or two or three) of the faculty is either taking part in a professional development opportunity or reporting back from one. In fact, earlier this week, one of my colleagues and I were talking through our upcoming trip to the TAIS Innovation and Tech Institute. While these opportunities are fantastic, it’s often the hallways and quick interactions with teachers or administrators that provide chances for reflection, development, and growth.
Earlier this school year, I was talking with another teacher about a new challenge I had given my students in the classroom. We talked for a few minutes, and then she offered a suggestion for a slightly more difficult follow-up activity for the next day. Even though this teacher doesn’t necessarily teach the same content area as me, her advice was extremely beneficial.
I was catching up with another teacher a few days later, and he mentioned the idea of a ‘walking classroom’ experience with some of his first grade students. He shared the activity with me and the overall benefit observed for his students. Through this brief encounter, I was able to consider a new approach for an upcoming lesson. I’m looking forward to implementing something similar with my students in the near future.
This informal professional development – that takes place through the simple sharing of ideas – can be just as impactful as leaving campus. However, these interactions are often the result of a more formal professional development exercise. I’m thankful to be in the hallways with some great educators and thinkers. I’m especially thankful for their willingness to share their wisdom with me!