Create a Professional Development Room
A PD room is a space in a school or other facility that is dedicated to involvement in professional learning. It is the only activity allowed in the space. It is the most comfortable and nicest place in the facility. It is a place that is one that individuals seek each day.
The space is comfortable. It has ample heat and cooling depending the season. It is furnished with round tables to facilitate discussion and comfortable chairs for discussions circles. It has an open space that allows teams to role-play new techniques prior to bringing them to students, parents or community members.
Its smells are comforting with fresh coffee, and other hot beverages and spring water for hydration. Fruit, yogurt, and other healthy offerings are available in a cooler.
The room has wireless Internet available so that multiple people can use the Internet at the same time. There are laptops or tablets available for learning teams to reference portions of individual Whitewater Learning modules and to support their discussions.
Establish norms or covenants for use of the room that are identified by those who will use the professional learning space. Some examples may include:
- The only grading of papers or lesson planning duties to be conducted in the PD room are those that allow the learner to practice concepts addressed in the PD topic under discussion.
- Electronic devices will be provided and supported for use in the PD room to address topics and skill development under consideration by your professional learning community.
- If tired, rest in the faculty lounge. The professional learning room is for those who are focused on improving their knowledge, skills, and ways of being as an educator in a space designed for collaborative discourse.
- While in the learning space, stay on the chosen topic designed to improve professional practice. But, web the knowledge and skills to your hearts content to build an understanding of the extended applications and their power to take each member of the team into a deep learning dive.
- Phones are distractions. Turn them off while in the PD space.
Don’t have too many norms. Five is plenty. One or two well-written norms can do the trick.
Hold each other to the norms until they are a way of being for everyone in the room. Remind with kindness, perhaps stepping outside the space if a colleague is in distress and needs to talk about a personal or professional issue that does not apply to PD. The point is everyone must stay true to supporting the purpose of the space… to improve professional knowledge, skills, and ways of being as an educator.
All roles in a school that support student learning are welcome in the PD room including certified and non-certified positions.