Education

You Snooze, Kids Lose

December 22, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Let’s play a quick game of word association: What comes to mind when you see the term “professional development?” Motes of chalkdust hanging in the air? The clock? Narcolepsy?

By themselves, the words generally portend good things. Who could argue with professionalism? And “development” only tends to mean something bad if it involves a new crop of McMansions springing up in your back yard.

Put the two words together, though, and you can practically smell the bad coffee and fly-buzzed doughnuts.

But as this issue of Teacher Magazine vividly illustrates, professional development doesn’t have to be a snore.

In “Forever Young,” meet four Chicago-area teachers whose unique, self-propelled professional development techniques have served them—and their students—well for decades.

The educators in “Lights! Camera! Learning!” take the opposite tack, performing science experiments head to head with their peers in front of a live audience.

And “Point of Entry” explores how a trip to Ellis Island can send visiting teachers back in time as it brings them up to date.

Not that educators necessarily have to be in the same place to learn from each other. According to a recent study, online PD courses can be just as effective as in-person sessions.

In a field as diverse as the students it serves, it’s anyone’s guess how one-size-fits-all lectures became the default mode of educating teachers. But if there’s anyone out there who still thinks professional development somehow has to involve warmed-over pablum with a side of boredom, this is your wake-up call.

—Scott J. Cech, Executive Editor

A version of this article appeared in the January 01, 2007 edition of Teacher

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 18, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
Education In Their Own Words Masking, Miscarriages, and Mental Health: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our reporters share the stories they wrote that rose above the fray—and why.
5 min read
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week