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November 1, 2018
Vol. 76
No. 3

Tell Me About

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Tell us your best tip or resource for taking charge of your own professional learning.

Professional LearningTechnology
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Knowledge Feed

Years ago, I plugged my go-to professional learning sites into a feed reader and never looked back. My RSS feed empowers me to see through the daily noise of creating lessons and managing a classroom, and it's so convenient to have a repository of information waiting for me when I have time to relax, sit back, and learn. I can review publications at my desk or via the mobile app, and easily share ideas and articles with colleagues.
Nicholas Lind, special education teacher, Fairport, New York

A Learning Digest

I subscribe to The Main Idea, where I get chapter-by-chapter summaries of the latest education books. After reading the summary I determine if I want to dig deeper and read the entire book.
Jennifer Daddio, assistant principal, Rio Rancho Public Schools, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Learning as a Lifelong Pursuit

We know that learning is a journey, not an end destination. To that effect, I routinely analyze the needs of my diverse students, ranging from preschool to high school, and seek out resources tailored to those needs using professional journals, books, speakers, conferences, and webinars. It is crucial that we examine ourselves and make changes to reflect our goals as educators. If we are to work to instruct the whole child, we must first work to improve ourselves.
Nikita Ganatra, center director and owner, Kumon Math and Reading Center, Foothill Ranch, California

Early Bird Gets the Learning

Use that time before the rest of the world gets up to do some reading or take an online course. If you do it before you start your day (and before anything else), you can't "forget" about it later, or find something else you'd rather be doing.
Chad T. Lower, curriculum coordinator, Laurel Springs School, Ojai, California

Tracking Progress

I always set three expected outcomes for my learning for the year. These goals usually tie into the instructional goals of the school. I then create an action plan timeline for each of my goals. Checking into progress made on a weekly and monthly basis ensures that I stay on track for accomplishing my goals by year-end.
Annmarie Hogan, assistant principal, PS 26, District 31, Staten Island, New York

Commute and Learn

I listen to TED Talks and have an app on my phone that allows me to listen to articles during my daily commute. This way I use the time productively and learn on the go.
Consuelo Yukiko Yamaguchi-Mayorquin, director of bilingual/ESL and testing, Hempstead, Texas

Group Think Tank

I encourage teachers to join the professional development committee at their school. After feedback from the teachers in the professional development committee at my school, we created sessions for primary and intermediate teachers that differentiate based on need. This started as a part of my Preparing New Principals Program and continues as a best practice. I also encouraged two teachers who were strong in several content areas to present at a district conference. They then came back and presented their sessions—and what they learned from the other presentations they attended—to our staff.
Doreen Carlo-Coryell, assistant principal, Roosevelt Elementary, Brevard County Schools, Cocoa Beach, Florida

The Tech Has It

Next year my high school will provide a Google Chromebook to each student. The opportunities to provide students with online support when and where they need it are incredibly exciting. It is also terrifying. This is a big change for me, as I haven't always been very tech savvy. I am pursuing my MEd in Teaching and Learning through a fully online FlexPath program at Capella University to prepare myself for this new educational adventure. My advisor helped me select classes that would guide me to a transition to increased technology use with strong pedagogical foundation; improve how I help SPED students; and better support my ELLs. I welcome all students into my classroom, but I haven't always known how best to help them. My goals are pedagogy before technology—technology with a purpose—and reaching out to meet all students' needs as best as possible.
Wendy Stuck, high school Spanish teacher, Denbigh High School, Newport News, Virginia

Tweet Spot

Twitter is the best tool for my professional learning. It takes some time to develop a strong community of people to follow, but once your network is set up, you will learn and grow. Probably the reason Twitter works so well for me is that it is short and concise, and the conversations are always there when I have a moment to engage and learn, anytime, any place, any device.
Sara Schoepke, integration specialist, Waterford Graded School District, Waterford, Wisconsin

EL’s experienced team of writers and editors produces Educational Leadership magazine, an award-winning publication that reaches hundreds of thousands of K-12 educators and leaders each year. Our work directly supports the mission of ASCD: To empower educators to achieve excellence in learning, teaching, and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. 

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