Friday, May 24, 2013

ISM Spotlight – REAL Professional Development

This year I am the luckiest teacher in the world. I get to teach at the best school ever – International School of Morocco, with some of the best, most creative, teachers ever. Each time I walk into someone else’s classroom, I get inspired and we just seem to spiral great teaching ideas off of each other. It’s a wonderful place to teach, and since we are all collaborating, it’s a wonderful place for our kids to learn – a teacher’s dream, right? I have tried and tried to convince the other teachers to create blogs of their own to spotlight and share some of their amazing ideas, but everyone is super busy. Instead, they have each agreed to let me spotlight some of their ideas right here on Raki’s Rad Resources. So, each Friday night, I will be posting an ISM Spotlight.

This week, I’m going to talk about the “other side” of ISM, what happens away from the children.  In such a small school,  you would think we would be lacking in the Professional Development area.  However, in reality I have had more quality professional development this year, because it has been geared towards my immediate needs.  Also, because we are so small, we all participate in finding resources for each other, and helping each other out.  Here are some of the ways that the  teachers of ISM have had professional development this year:

- Weekly, collaborative staff meetings where we plan units together, discuss schedules and brainstorm as a whole.

- Traveling to conferences.  We have had 4 different representatives and 4 different conferences of International Schools – hosted by the various groups that we are members of - Mediterranean Association of International Schools, European Council of International Schools and Council of British International Schools.  After each person went to a conference, theReal professional development - using facebook and videos to help with informal professional development.y reported back and shared the important ideas they learned.  (I was lucky enough to go to London for the ECIS conference, which I am sure my regular readers are sick of reading about, as I have written about it A LOT!)

- Informal collaboration online.  We found that we were sharing so many articles and videos with each other via e-mail that our director, Meredith Achlim, created us a Facebook group where we can share the articles we find, the videos (TED and otherwise) with each other, and read at leisure.  These videos and articles are often discussed during our staff meetings, or other informal collaboration sessions.  We are also encouraged to share what we are doing with our parents and community on the ISM Facebook page.

- Online trainings.  This summer and fall, we will all be taking online trainings to get us ready for some of the exciting Real professional development - using facebook and videos to help with informal professional development. upcoming activities.

- Pinterest!  Of course we are all on pinterest and we’re always on the look out for great teaching ideas not only for ourselves, but also for each other.  We share our ideas on our ISM Pinterest board and we add videos and articles to our Pinterest Professional Development board.

What was your best professional development this year?

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources