LEAD3: PD Inspiration & Insights from Educators

We're back from the Lead 3 Symposium, where we met inspiring educators and administrators from across the west coast region. From talking about PD to learning more about districts' problems and their creativesolutions, it was great to engage with everyone face-to-face. In addition to participating in the conference and hosting our Lead Up game, we ran an introductory session on Chrome Warrior and next level professional development that ended up being so much more. Our participants worked in groups to brainstorm about PD challenges, and came up with actionable feedback. The main challenges the group identified were: motivation, differentiation for adult learners, PD for classified staff, "one-and-done" PD, too many initiatives, and time. Here's what they had to say about how successful PD programs could address each area:

  • Motivation: Address needs so educators can fully participate; personalize the experience; set personal and professional goals; and encourage a growth mindset.
  • Differentiation: Provide pre-assessments and create groups based on ability; include elements of choice; and design with a "low floor and high ceiling" to make the program accessible to all.
  • Classified staff PD: Simplify work tasks, choose themes that are applicable to everyone; focus on leadership and growth mindset.
  • One-and-done: Choose one topic or initiative per month; "become an expert"; share out; provide more than just theory; build leadership capacity; and return to the same learning objectives over time while focusing on its application.
  • Too many initiatives: Allow teacher-experts to lead staff meetings; encourage "positive peer pressure"; take something off of teachers' plates; show empathy; adopt a "choose your battles" mindset; choose one thing; and find a way to assess teachers and make them comfortable with their current abilities.
  • Time: Make sure time is compensated (ROI); extend learning; integrate PD across departments; and create a pool of ideas and techniques.

Thanks to all of the educators and administrators who participated! This kind of feedback contributes to a wider conversation about professional development, and helps us improve our platform with more relevant and user-friendly features with each new upgrade.

If you attended the conference, we hope you had a chance to check out the Lead Up game, where attendees were encouraged to earn digital badges (and real stickers!) by completing a number of different sorties. Some of the sorties included: creating a Voxer account, creating a Lead 3 goal statement, participating in a conversation around LCAP development, and connecting with a Lead Symposium alumnus. We had over sixtyplayers get in on the fun. Congrats to our top 5 players Ryan Archer, Shawn Wisley, Heidi Baynes, Joe Clark and Liz Hoppe!