Teaching middle school is not for the faint of heart. But if you're called to do it, you know there's nothing else quite like it. Join us in discussing what works - and what doesn't.

What's the Best Professional Development You've Ever Experienced?

Heather Wolpert-Gawron Middle School teacher by day, Tweenteacher by night

OK, so with budgets so tight, we have to prioritize where we go for some little 'ole professional development. I mean, we can't just fill out the paperwork, set up the sub plan, and take off for any Tom, Dick, or Harry Wong anymore.

So let's help all of us by writing some reviews of the best of the best. Think about what conferences recharge your batteries. Do you tend to like interactive sessions, or (like me) are you a back-sitter who likes to just sit and absorb? Think about what presenters are the most informative and for what subject? What presenters are the most entertaining? Do you like sessions where you walk away with stuff for Monday, or sessions that get you thinking about Someday?

Share the names of some Must-Sees: people or conferences, so that we know how to spend what little PD money (or personal funds) that we have.

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Professional Development

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I highly recommend Quantum Learning workshops. I attended a weeklong workshop a few summers ago and it was well worth the time and money. It was very interactive, hands-on, fun, and full of really great strategies for brain-based learning and classroom management.
I am also planning on attending the National Conference on Differentiated Instruction that takes place this summer in Las Vegas. I haven't attended one yet, but I've heard great reviews about this conference, and the number of speakers and workshops is really diverse and ranges from K to high school. Rick Wormeli and Robert Marzano presented last summer and they're on the list for 2010 as well. The teachers that I talked to said that they came back with immediately applicable techniques and strategies, both for DI and classroom management. They were jazzed up about getting back to school, which says a LOT for the conference.

Middle School teacher by day, Tweenteacher by night

Las Vegas

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You make me want to go. I saw Marzano speak at CUE last year (a conference I would REALLY recommend) about his statistical finding using the Promethean Board. Interesting stuff.

Maybe I'll see you there! We can all use some DI help, right?

-Heather WG

6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

Studying the Skillful Teacher

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My district offered this week long seminar, "Studying the Skillful Teacher". It was by far the best professional development I've ever experienced. The presenter was spectacular and the information revolutionized my teaching. I don't have much more info than the name. My district arranged it and had room for a limited number of participants. But it was totally worth it, which I cannot say for most (if not ALL) of the district PDs!

Middle School teacher by day, Tweenteacher by night

Book?

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Erika,
Was it based on a book that you could recommend? The Skillful Teacher is a fairly well known book, and I wonder if you saw the authors speak? Thanks for sharing this resource!
-Heather WG

6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

Quote:Erika, Was it based on

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Quote:

Erika,

Was it based on a book that you could recommend? The Skillful Teacher is a fairly well known book, and I wonder if you saw the authors speak? Thanks for sharing this resource!

-Heather WG

Heather:

I know there was a book involved! I have to look through my "stuff" - you know, all the stuff you get as a teacher that you put in that really important place so you'll know where it is when you really need it, only you can't remember where that important place is when you do REALLY need it!

It probably is The Skillful Teacher but I'll double-check. The present wasn't an author. She had been trained and was just excellent! I'll try to find her name as well when I find my "stuff"!

Erika

Middle School teacher by day, Tweenteacher by night

Place to Put Important Stuff

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[quote][quote] I have to look through my "stuff" - you know, all the stuff you get as a teacher that you put in that really important place so you'll know where it is when you really need it, only you can't remember where that important place is when you do REALLY need it! [/quote]

I find that the trunk in my car serves quite nicely as that place...until I can't see the bottom of it anymore!

-Heather WG

6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

Trunk of Car

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I'll have to try that one! I have WAY too much space at the bottom - I know I can fill it!

In the world the parent-child relationship is one of the longest lasting so

I loved the time when i

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I loved the time when i attended the soft skill classes in my schools. In these classes I learned a lot & that time I thought myself as a professional.
Things to do with Children

Director of Instructional Technology

Lausanne Laptop Institute

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As an educator whose primary role involves tech integration, the Lausanne Laptop Institute (name will be changing by next summer as it goes WAY beyond laptops) is the best conference I attend every year. There is a huge range of sessions appropriate for any educator hoping to more effectively integrate technology into their curriculum.

The conference is intentionally kept small - capped at 600 - to facilitate conversations and relationships. It happens every July on Memphis.

http://www.laptopinstitute.com/

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