KFP Institute was without a doubt the most memorable and pivotal professional development opportunity I have had the privilege to be a part of. I have been home for two days and I still find myself longing to relive the experience and revisit our tweets and Facebook posts. I have also needed the last two days to have a moment to sit down and reflect upon what exactly made this experience one that stood out to the degree it did.
First, is the networking. We developed bonds quickly and I noticed that I had a desire to reach out to more introverted Kenan fellows and engage them also in a way not typical of me. Somewhat introverted myself, I do perhaps waste too much valuable networking time hoping others will draw me out and not the other way around. So the networking was invaluable.
But also, in terms of the actual professional development, I found that at this point in my career, I love reading theory, but I need my PD time to be well spent with concrete deliverables that can be quickly (and seamlessly) implemented. I need examples of how teachers have also used this information in their own classrooms. I need especially cross-curricular strategies that incorporate authentic 21st century learning for students. And I need it to be varied. Opportunities for participants to share (Ed Camps accomplished this well) with facilitation and differentiated options (concurrent sessions accomplished this).
The first things that come to mind for implementation of this experience is absolutely the Citizen Science and outdoor opportunities. I am excited to learn more about Citizen Science and how it can be incorporated with my students. I am also looking forward to using goose chase with my own students and sharing it with our teachers.
I am eager to begin implementation early on using Design Thinking blended with Computational Thinking. As I better get to know and understand computational thinking, I will incorporate this with Engineering Design Process.
I am so thankful to be a Kenan fellow. This week has been like no other because the comraderie and sense of “being in this together” was immediate. Our fellows and Steering Committee members were so very approachable and eager to share. The learning that we experienced this week will directly translate into our classrooms immediately and take the 21st century elements that we advocate for to a whole new level.