We encourage our students to be life-long learners. As teachers, we need to be life-long learners, too. Finding time to attend a workshop or conference isn't always easy...but I'm here to tell you, what is offered to us educators via Twitter and Google+ communities is nothing short of a PD miracle! (Okay, maybe not a miracle, but seriously, who knew all of this amazing stuff was out there at our fingertips--often in 140 characters or less!)
So--with this in mind--here are some reminders of what we often encourage our students to do in our classrooms...along with some questions to ask yourself. If you get stuck on answering some of them, I encourage you to get on and "play" with Twitter or join a Google+ community--you'd be surprised how quickly your "play" becomes so much more with regard to professional development.
I encourage my students to be lifelong learners and to be open to learning in many ways.
Q: Am I a lifelong learner in my profession? Am I excited to learn something new, or do I see professional learning opportunities as "just one more thing I have to do?"
I encourage my students to ask questions that are outside the box.
Q: Do I ask myself questions that challenge what I am already doing in my classroom? Do I question my own teaching practices?
I encourage my students to locate information using technology to help solve problems that arise from the content that we are discovering in my classroom.
Q: Do I use technology to solve my own teaching dilemmas? Do I have multiple on-line resources that I use regularly to find answers to my questions about teaching?
I expect my students to become comfortable in a variety of settings (both real and virtual) when it comes to collaboration. I encourage them to regularly seek out people from outside of their own learning community to gather information and ideas on a daily basis.
Q: Do I collaborate about teaching in a variety of settings? Do I reach out to teachers and professionals outside of my community on a regular basis? Weekly? Daily? (Google+ communities, weekly Twitter chats, Linkedin, Facebook Groups.)
I expect my students to create amazing artifacts that they are vested in as a result of what they are learning in my classroom.
Q: When I learn something new with regard to the profession of teaching, how is it showcased in my lesson planning/classroom? How does it directly affect student learning?
I expect my students to contribute to the active learning that takes place in the classroom. They are expected to share their knowledge with their peers to move everyone's learning forward.
Q: When I learn something new, how do I share it with my peers? Do I actively seek out ways to share my learning? Am I excited to share my newly acquired knowledge with others in my school, corporation, or world-wide learning communities?