[Please don't comment here. Post your comments on John's blog. He deserves the credit for this quality discussion.]
I agree with Sneaker Teacher. Teachers should have more say in the PD process. Here are the two steps that I purpose:
1. Sit on your schools Instructional Leadership Team or PD Planning Committee. I'm on our ILT. I haven't always agreed with the PD decisions that we've made collectively. However, I have influences some very important decisions. That is me taking some charge of the PD in my building.
2. Take PD into your own hands. Start a blog to others about what you are doing your classroom/school. Set up a Twitter account to share links and ideas. Set up an RSS reader and find 50 blogs to follow. Finally, use your Twitter account to follow interesting and like minded teachers.
3. Whatever PD you attend, bend it to your needs. If it is about reading and your a math teacher, be open minded and creative about how you can integrate your new learning into your area. It might not fit with what the PD is about, however, you have gotten something out of a training that you thought was pointless.
For #2 above, it is imperative that you are not a fly on the wall and just soaking in what read. You, just like you expect from your students, need to be actively engaged in the process.
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