I feel a little bit one of my bloggy friends (and real-life friend), in that I feel like all I do is talk about professional development! But here goes.
I attended a training called CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) and it is a mathematics training through ESSDACK. Loved it. Some of the basic principals were taught in college about letting kids use and develop the strategies that work for them to solve math problems. It did talk about how some kids might need some support and help moving from the direct modeling strategy to some more efficient strategies. This really clicked with me and I kept thinking of a student I had last year and in the end we all just let him work things the way that worked for him, but if we could have talked more about it and figured out his strategy, maybe we could have helped him get to a more efficient strategy.
At the VERY beginnning of the summer I attended a poverty awareness training through my previous district. One of my friends was the instructor. I have watched her journey out of poverty and her lovely new Habitat for Humanity home is just a stone's throw away from my H4H home. Every morning when I need a good dose of gratitude for how good my life is today, I look out the back door of my home that I love and see the home of my friend and I think about how far we've come. The affects of poverty of wide-reaching and I didn't have as many steps to overcome as my friend did,but it is not something that just melts away, it has to be fought and overcome. How will I be the teacher that doesn't alienate the parents whose issues are oh-so-real? How will I provide that safety net for kids and families?
I am currently in a book study for the book: Guided Math: a Framework for Mathematics Instruction by Laney Sammons. I feel like this book and the CGI information will marry well. Now to figure out how to meet the district expectation in regard to the materials provided by them! I have learned a lot from this study. I was trying to do The Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson also, but I'm having a hard time doing the two studies. And the Guided Reading study is not really well maintained or responded to, so I am not very motivated to read or get involved. This is food for thought for me and it makes me really grateful that my friend Meenal is helping maintain the Guided Math study and helping develop/post questions.
This sounds so small in the scope of what my friends have listed. Next summer I hope to do more. Like attend a conference.... I would love to go to Vegas for the "I Teach K!" conference or to Luoisiana for the WBT conference. And what if.... what if next year we planned a Midwest Bloggy Meet Up? Maybe even in Kansas? We could go to a bed and breakfast or rent a convention center.... You know.... my town is not far from a great midwest highway hub.... the CrossRoads of the US.... Salina, KS. Can you hear the wheels turning? (and now you should all be singing "wheel in the sky keeps on turning....")
I am also working toward some personal development because it is good for me, but let's face it, teaching is personal. The more I strive to be the best person I can be, the better teacher I will become. I am participating (straggling a little) in Michelle's Daring Greatly (by Brene Brown) book study. Right now the book is kicking my butt, but I'm assured that there is encouragement ahead.
Hop over to BTL and read about Summertime Professional Development.