Its all about who you know

As part of my Kenan fellowship I get the opportunity to grow as an educator outside the classroom. Through the Professional Advancement Institutes I gained ideas and tangible practices from other educators at a lightning fast rate. Things that I would have never discovered on my own came in fast and furious in these gatherings. So many people are doing amazing things in their classroom and all it takes to gain that knowledge is time and a space to interact face to face.
The structured time gave me tangibles, but what I have found most valuable is the in between time. The time with other passionate people chatting about an engaging topic or cool activity they did in class. Picking their brain and asking hard questions led to a place of engagement that just doesn’t happen by accident. This isn’t Friday early release mandated PD. This is sharing of ideas from professionals who care deeply about their students and their content. This is crucial to growth and cannot be forced.
Of all the PD and all the institutes the space between is where the good stuff is. Other people have learned so much and as educators they can share succinctly what is good to know and what is most useful. The time with other teachers is the best PD I have ever had and I look forward to creating that culture in my school.