Posts Tagged 'professional development'

Nerve-Racking & Game-Changing: A Flipped PD Experiment

By Claudia Felske – So how was your week, last week? Mine (thanks for asking) was daunting, nerve-racking, stressful, gratifying, energizing, and game-changing.

Here’s the scenario:

Imagine teaching teachers (daunting, yes?). Now imagine you are a peer of those teachers (worse). Now, imagine that you are teaching them the day before grades are due and a new semester starts (a day formerly reserved for grading and planning). Now imagine teaching them on that day and being held accountable for each teacher’s learning on that day.

stress chalk boardOkay, deep breaths.

Now, on top of all that, imagine that they are allowed to complete this training…anywhere they want—at home, at Starbucks, in a hotel room at the Kalahari, wherever they choose to be that day.

I can imagine what you’re thinking right about now…perhaps a polite “no thanks” or a slightly more frank “Hell no!”

Well, that’s precisely what happened last week in my district, with yours truly at the helm (now you’re beginning to understand the daunting, nerve-racking, stressful part). We designed “PD Anywhere”: a full day of Professional Development that teachers could complete, well, anywhere.

Here’s what it looked like:

  • a Google Hangout to introduce the day.
  • a self-paced technology skill checklist with hyperlinked tutorials so teachers could teach themselves technology proficiencies.
  • a “flipped” Eric Mazur “Peer Instruction” video (our virtual key note speaker).
  • a video of our own students engaged in “Peer Instruction.”
  • four break-out sessions instructing teachers how to use different tools (Google Classroom, Pear Deck, Socrative, and “Unplugged” tools) for “Peer Instruction.”
  • teacher work time to apply this knowledge to their own classrooms.
  • accountability pieces throughout the process.

Why did we do it? Certainly not to save time; it took us easily three times longer to prepare. Certainly not to make things easier as the probability of things going awry was exponential. We did it in the hopes of modeling good teaching. After two years of providing tech training for teachers, encouraging them to create lessons that are student-centered, flexible, and personalized, it wasn’t until this inservice that we finally felt that we truly “walked the walk,” demonstrating the practices we’d been advocating.

practice-what-you-preach1

We were able to leverage technology to personalize the day for each teacher, meeting them “where they are” (just as we strive to do with students).  And just as we know the most effective teacher is the “guide on the side,” not the “sage on stage,” we put the onus on the learners while being a call or an email away to help as needed.

We were also able to model courage. Trying out a new technique in front of a room full of teenagers can be unnerving, and more often than not in the case of new technology, things don’t go smoothly the first time around. In designing a full day of professional development where the staff did not need to report to work, where we were banking on all online tools we were using to work correctly that day, where WIFI had to be alive and well in all the various places our staff would be located that day, we also took a sizable risk, in the hopes that our teachers will be more likely to take risks in their own practices.

How did the teachers respond? Here’s a representative sampling of their survey comments:

  • yoga teacherIn one PD day, I learned many skills that will make me a more polished teacher. It was critical that I could learn the specific skills at my own pace – technology does not come naturally to me, so this was really a useful day!
  • I’m so happy that we could breeze through stuff we already know rather than being forced to listen to it for 45 minutes during an in-person inservice. It opened up my time to be spent actually trying out the stuff I did learn. This definitely was a much more efficient, productive use of my time.
  • Thank you for the option of working at home. It felt like a real luxury! I found that I was more focused and more productive working on my own and moving at my own pace than on most inservice days. I also did more planning about how what was being presented (Mazur’s methods) can be applied to my classroom.

All said and done, (stats), only one didn’t turn in all three required components (was working a long time on skills list), and only 2 negative comments on the day (all others were positive).

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 10.01.49 PM

My take-aways that day? My professional development? My epiphanies?

  • Helping a few colleagues navigate their way through the morning, I was reminded that teachers, just like students, have different predilections, paces, and styles of learning that we must accommodate.  
  • Hitting a satisfying “lull” midday, I realized that what we had planned was working, no emails, no phone calls. I felt like the director standing in back of the theatre opening night with nothing to do but watch (smiling sigh).
  • Seeing the lesson links come in from teachers who had time to apply their learning, I realized the practicality of the day, that students would very soon be the beneficiaries of their teacher’s learning.

And so I’ll take the daunting and nerve-racking along with the gratifying and game-changing: the yin yang of teaching and of PD, reminding me to take risks, to practice what I preach, and to remember that what’s good for kids is also good for their teachers.

Why Teacher Professional Development Often Falls Short

7070563247_94e4848a6b_bBy Nick McDaniels – Last week I had a great professional development experience facilitated by a colleague. But my colleague, a career and technology education teacher like myself, learned professional development delivery skills from a field outside of education. She understands adult learners. My experience, most years, is not so great.

More often than not, I, like half of America’s teachers, am dissatisfied with professional development. I am usually crowded into a room, in student-sized desks (one time in a primary art room for two six hour days), with other teachers who sort of teach the same thing I teach while a well-meaning teacher delivers professional development she had no part in designing and, quite obviously, doesn’t really believe in. I leave, often appreciating the comedy of how undeveloped I was, and lament the many ways this time could have been used in a more valuable way, in a way that might actually improve outcomes for students.

So what does professional development fall short so often?

Location, timing, and content are all extremely important, and PD often times appears not well thought out, not responsive to the needs of teachers and students, and appears to lack intentionality. Professional development, particularly in times that are built into the school calendar, must be valued and the time must be maximized. Time, personnel, and resources, must be devoted to this task. If that is not possible, then PD should be abandoned. Bad PD is not better than no PD at all.

Further, the amount of research out there explaining how adults learn differently than children is astounding, particularly when we consider how so much American PD ignores the research. Unless we train teachers to teach other teachers differently than they teach students, PD will never be successful.

Fortunately for me, I had a good one last week, so at least I will go into the next PD optimistic that I and everyone else will learn something that can help us make sure the students learn better.

Tell Me, Teach Me, Transform Me

professional_development_plantBy Peggy Wuenstel — There is an old teacher joke that goes something like this: “I hope I die during a professional development seminar because the transition will be so very easy”.

I confess to having felt that way when attending trainings that fulfilled state or federal requirements or were on topics not of my choosing. It is kind of akin to enrolling in those core college courses that complete the degree, but are not related to one’s chosen course of study. More often, however, I have come away with some valuable insights, some validations of prior beliefs, and some takeaways to enhance my educational practice. I spent four days out of my classroom last week for two back to back experiences.

Professional development is even more important for me this year, in the job change that I have posted about earlier this year. Attending the Wisconsin State Reading Association Convention was a key piece for my self-evaluation of the first semester in this role. One of the key themes of this gathering was the importance of supporting the development and remediating the deficits in oral language that many of our most challenged readers demonstrate. This is especially critical for our students who are learning English or come from homes where conversation in formal, academic language is rarely heard.

One of the ways that we often cue developing readers to review and revise their attempts at decoding is to ask: “Does that sound right to you?” Unfortunately, for many of our students with limited oral language skills, they can honestly answer, “I don’t know”. We may do a masterful job of teaching them to recognize the words, to complete the flashcards with ease, but if they can’t combine these into sentences with the more structured language they will encounter in texts, tests, and in-class conversations; they will not be on  a path to academic success. Even the ways we combine words in poetry or with literary license can cause a competent reader to stumble.

It is one of the great ironies of education that, when they are preschoolers, we invest considerable time and effort in teaching our children to walk and speak. They enter school and we want them to sit down and be quiet. The longer that they remain in the educational system, the more their competence is evaluated without conversation, and increasingly more often by filling in bubbles or clicking on a computer screen. The trend toward texting and “quick and dirty” messages certainly increases the number of our attempts, but not the completeness and complexity of our use of language. There are schools where the “complete sentence” is now a required mode of both verbal and written communication to attempt to address this erosion of language detail and precision.

Another feature of the WSRA Convention was the work of Peter Johnston whose slim volumes Choice Words and Opening Minds powerfully emphasize why educators must hold up their ends of these conversations with not only accuracy but integrity. His reminders that the words that we choose change how students feel about themselves and about learning in general require us to monitor our output, our intent, and our continuing professional development as conversationalists.

There were the practical aspects as well, ways to encourage written comments about shared texts, establishing and enhancing the relationships between reading, writing, and spelling. We learned about specific strategies to teach the non-fiction comprehension that is a key feature of the Common Core State Standards. We watched videos of talented teachers delivering inspired lessons and we went home determined to provide that same level of support to our students. We were reminded of the things that we know, but had somehow forgotten to incorporate. My post convention attendance tasks included a stop at the stationary store for binder rings, colored folders, and personal journals to distribute as Valentine gifts for my students. I promised to assure them that when they wanted to write for an audience, I would be their reader. I vowed to create topics of both conversation and prompts for writing that made it not only possible, but essential for them to communicate their thoughts. My book clubs this week defined for me what distinguishes a book you like from one that you love. Even the first graders were able to define this. It was quite a Valentines’ Day present.

There were also the political aspects, the professional leaders who encouraged us to push back, to refuse to accept the politically correct over the professionally valid. We were charged to be advocates, even activists for what we know is needed in today’s educational climate. We were told to keep the faith while we keep the data. We were told to question our governance as well as ourselves. Those conversations may be important, but they are not as rewarding or able to touch the future as those who have with the children with whom we read, write, and learn each day.

In the two days prior to the Wisconsin State Reading Association Convention I read the applications of those teachers competing for the Kohl Foundation Educational Fellowships that will lead to the selection of the Teacher of the Year awards in Wisconsin. I studied the submissions of the high school seniors in contention for the Kohl Scholarships for 2014. Both were love letters to the systems, the histories, and the possibilities that are education today. It was a privilege to read them, to learn from them, to be inspired by them.

Taking My Own Advice: 6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer Work Experience

By Emily McDonough — Let’s face it: our days of endless summer fun are over.  Yep, we all know that with college also comes more responsibility to utilize our summer vacations more productively, such as by taking summer classes, working, and gaining internship experience.

But just because the highlight of our summer days is no longer sticking perfect cannonballs at the pool or chasing down the ice cream truck on a hot day does not mean that we cannot make the most of our summers.  As I began preparing for my own summer internship in Washington D.C., I found myself asking what kinds of goals I was hoping to accomplish throughout my experiences.

I came up with the following list, which is mostly drawn from the wise advice that countless teachers, mentors, and family members have given to me throughout my experiences in both academics and the professional world. I cannot wait to put these pieces of advice into practice throughout my experiences in D.C. this summer, and hope that this list is helpful to everyone looking to make the most of their “not-so-carefree” experiences this summer.

1.      Accept and Learn from Constructive Criticism:
This can be very difficult for many individuals, including myself.  It is important to remember that, although we may think so, we definitely do not know everything.  We are bound to make many mistakes throughout all of our work experiences throughout our lives, but the mistakes we make are only worth it if we learn from them.

2.      Consciously View Issues Through a New and Different Perspective:
This summer, dare to challenge your own understanding of an issue that you are passionate about.  This summer I am lucky enough to view the issue of urban education, an issue which has defined my personal teaching vocation, in a completely different light.  I will be advocating for an effective education for urban students through the perspective of a nonprofit organization rather than the eyes of an educator in the classroom.  While this is slightly nerve-wracking for me, I cannot wait to gain a new and exciting perspective on the world of urban education.

3.      Take Initiative:
I am a firm believer that the efforts you put in to an assignment will directly translate to the sense of pride and achievement you receive after you have finished your task.  Challenge yourself to “think outside the box” on all assignments.  Your superiors will recognize and admire your extra efforts, and you will feel more accomplished about the results of all your hard work.

4.      Read!
From newspapers to novels, poetry to published journals; it does not matter what you read as long as you are reading. Readingfor pleasure is something that is so often tossed aside during the school year simply because of the tremendous amount of other reading and homework required of students. Reading is one of the easiest ways to keep your mind engaged and sharp throughout the summer months.  Take advantage of a somewhat more flexible summer schedule, pick up a good book, and escape to a different literary world for a little while.

5.      Make the Most of Every Situation:
Alright, we all know that working multiple jobs is extremely stressful and the life of an intern is not considered the most glamorous, but it is often the most inopportune conditions which teach the greatest lessons or at least make the best memories.  Embrace the sticky situations just as you would embrace positive circumstances; the outcomes may just surprise you later.

6.      Have Fun and Take Advantage of all that the Summer has to Offer!
Bottom line: it’s summer! It would not be summer without at least a little bit of fun and adventure sprinkled in between working, classes, and all the other things that clutter our busy schedules.  Do not be afraid to set work aside for an afternoon; head out to see a show or take walk around for a few hours and just take in the city.  The national monuments, Smithsonian, and Georgetown’s historic neighborhood are just a few of the fun destinations I plan on taking advantage of throughout my summer in Washington.  Don’t forget to have some fun and make your own rules every once in a while!

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Emily McDonough is a senior at Marquette University studying Elementary Education and Communication Studies.  She feels that she has truly found her vocation in teaching and cannot wait to student teach in Spring 2013. Emily will be traveling to Washington DC this summer to take part in an internship with Jumpstart for Young Children, a national early education organization which helps urban children develop the language and literacy skills necessary to be successful in school.  She is very excited to begin working with Jumpstart and looking forward to experiencing all that Washington DC has to offer throughout the summer.

No Artificial Flavors

By Claudia Felske — This past month, I’ve felt like I’ve died and gone to PD Heaven. Yes, Professional Development and Heaven: terms I never thought I’d use in the same sentence. But here I am writing this, and meaning it.

This past month I’ve gone to two incredible education conferences without paying a cent and one without even leaving my desk. Education has been turned on its head, and it seems Professional Development is following suit.

On May 2nd, I attended Google On-Air, a day chocked full of 47 live hour-long  concurrent sessions: http://goo.gl/Auglt.  Attendees didn’t pay a penny; they just showed up in Google+ for sessions that interested them. I lurked in a dozen sessions over the course of the day and participated in two “Hang Outs,” which meant my live mug was on the screen along with 9 other other educators, asking questions, giving suggestions, and sharing screenshots as an unlimited outside audience watched.

The “Take Away” from Google On-Air was inspiring and practical. I learned from classroom teachers and from technology pioneers alike. I can think of a dozen changes I’ve already made regarding what I’ve learned and I have a list of others I’m dying to implement when time allows. Even better? Each of the 47 sessions is archived online, ready, free and waiting for anyone to see:  http://goo.gl/Auglt  A chunk of my summer will be spent exploring its treasures. There we were: a community of educators from around the country and around the world and country collaborating virtually because we wanted to.

A friend of mine who teaches in Florida calls this group “The Society of Yes” – a group of education enthusiasts who have found each other through blogs, listserves, and Twitter, who refuse to encounter a good idea without sharing it, and who know that if we share what we learn we can incrementally change the world and its classrooms for the better. The Society of Yes doesn’t do this because our names are being checked off on an attendance list or because it’s in our contract; we do it because we are compelled to learn, because it’s who we are.

Just ten days after Google On-Air, I encountered more from “The Society of Yes” at EdCamp Milwaukee http://goo.gl/gMgfD,  the 100th of its kind in the U.S. over the past two years.

Here was the deal: EdCamp was available to the first 250 to sign up. After showing up on a Saturday morning at South Milwaukee High School and chatting over bagels with some new friends, we hit the auditorium where we collectively Skyped with the founders of EdCamp (EdCamp Philly). They explained their EdCamp vision: An collaborative, free exchange of ideas, where there is no “expert,” but educators learning along side each other.

That’s exactly what it was.

Instructions for the day were simple and liberating, things like:
– “This day is about you; move from session to session; no one’s feelings will be hurt: it’s about your learning”
– “It’s about conversation and having the right people in that conversation”
– “Follow the Twitter feed; see what’s happening in other sessions: stop by if it’s a better fit for you. ‘Vote with your feet’”

Then, we the people, determined the day’s agenda. It started with a blank white board in front of the auditorium, a stack of post-it notes, and a microphone. What happened next was democracy in action.

One-by-one educators came up to the microphone and proposed a topic they wanted to lead a session, or a topic of interest for a discussion session: flipped classroom, multimedia integration, learning stations, student help desks, learning coaches, mastery learning.  Announce it, record it on a post it, and stick it in a time slot on the whiteboard.

Though this was my first EdCamp, I found myself suddenly courageous: spotting a new friend (from the Society of Yes) I’d met at breakfast, I invited him to co-facilitate a session on Tech integration in Secondary English. A post it note later, we were on the agenda.

Within 20 minutes, a shared Google Spreadsheet came together and a full-day’s agenda was born: http://goo.gl/FsE1g containing way more interesting sessions per hour than one could humanely attend.

The day maintained a steady clip of collaboration and learning; important discussions; shared frustrations; fruitful brainstorming, and loads of learning. In each session, we tweeted out tips, links, and advice, all collected under our #EdCampMke hashtag and on shared Google Docs.

It was fluid and exciting. For only one session did I stay in the room the whole time—the one I co-facilitated (it seemed the right thing to do); otherwise, I was taking and giving and sharing and moving and experiencing the most exciting single day of professional development of my 18 years in education.

It was an incredibly democratic, collaborative, liberating…utopian even: several times during the day, I found myself silently saying “This is how the world is supposed to operate.” And there it was.

These days, I’m doing a great deal of questioning about how learning really happens versus how it allegedly happens. In recent years, I’ve toyed with the idea of getting another Master’s Degree; this time in Educational Technology: a formal credential to back up what I’m now doing in the classroom. However, the more I investigate the degree program the more I realize its requirements do not correspond with where I’m headed and what I need to get there. I have come to the conclusion (cemented by a conversation with a mentor at EdCamp) that getting an Edtech Master’s degree will do little for me. That a more organic approach to my education will yield greater growth.  That earning specific tech certifications useful to my practice, that self-teaching using online tutorials, that attending EdCamps and virtual conferences, that collaborating with edtech like-mindeds on Twitter and the blogosphere supersede the old paradigm of “get another degree.”

I’m not the only one thinking these things. And it’s not just educators, but about all learners. One of my Twitter colleagues led me to a recent article http://goo.gl/LkjNu by Thomas Friedman who wrote of Stanford Professor Andrew Ng’s foray into free, online learning. “’I normally teach 400 students,’ Ng explained, but last semester he taught 100,000 in an online course on machine learning.’” He, and others like him, perhaps for the first time in history, are attempting to create truly free and public education.

This is exciting. This is subversive. This is democracy.

Passing the Torch – Mentoring and Fostering the Profession

By Peggy Wuenstel — I had a birthday last week, one of those mid-fifty ones that leave a person in the limbo between the peak of a career and the end of one. I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement lately, both because of advancing age and retreating certainty about the benefit package I will be able to access when the time comes. One of those pieces of advice that young educators always get, and are in no position to take advantage of, is the suggestion to start saving for retirement as soon as you can because of the multiplier effect of those dollars over time.

I would like to suggest another way to multiply your assets: mentor and support other teachers, and begin as soon as you can.  One rock thrown into a pond creates a few ripples. A whole handful of pebbles alters not only the surface, but can change the contours at the bottom as well. If educators can make that our goal, the impact that we might have on this world is enormous. But it is also not permanent. There is a need to keep mentoring, to keep engaging, to keep offering a hand up to those who are trying to climb into the profession.

All teachers experience those sinking moments when we wonder if the investments of time, effort and personal capital pay off in the accomplishments of our students. Undoubtedly, there are always a few bright spots in the skies over every teaching year, but that is often not enough to light our path into the future. One way to add to the aura is to spread the flame to as many aspiring educators as possible. If the true currency of teaching is the satisfaction of touching the future, through the many students we encounter over the years, then mentoring fellow educators is the ultimate Ponzi scheme – no one benefits more than the teacher at the top of the pyramid.

Being a cooperating teacher for those completing field study or student teaching experiences keeps us in touch with technology, new techniques and the enthusiasm of youth. Another pair of hands and another set of eyes are invaluable tools in today’s classrooms. Working closely with new hires, in teacher mentorship programs, clinical fellowship year supervision, as professional development plan reviewers, or informally in day-to-day teaching duties invests not only in their success but in our schools and society as a whole. One of the great dangers of a wholesale departure of experienced educators from the profession is what current Elementary Teacher of the Year Marsha Herman described as “a sad loss of collective wisdom”.

In many ways it is harder today than it was when I began. I read with outrage the recent comments made by the chairwoman of the House committee on Higher Education, Virginia Foxx.  Her lack of understanding of the issue of student loan debt is appalling considering her position. The ratio of tuition costs to entry level wages has grown astronomically. It is almost always impossible for a college student to earn the funds to pay for a semester’s tuition without parent, institution, and government support. That is assuming that the student can find employment that accommodates a collegiate schedule.

Marquette did a masterful job of assisting me in financing my education. That package included the Pell Grants and Stafford Loans that are currently on the chopping block. I would like to believe that the government’s investment in me as a student has been returned multi-fold. I would hope that those who are at the top of our government’s educational policy will realize that the way to insure a future of well-educated workers who can meet the needs of an aging and varied population, hungry for technology, information, and innovation is to invest heavily in them.

Throughout this year of blogging, I hope that I have been able to offer some practical suggestions as well as Platitudes. Here are a few investments to consider for your teaching investment portfolio.

  • Offer opportunities to observe. Invite new teachers to watch both innovative lesson and daily routines ,and ask follow-up challenges to assist them in using what they see in you in their own teaching plans.  Let them take as little or as much as they wish and make it their own. It is amazing how much can be accomplished when you don’t care who gets the credit. There is nothing more gratifying than watching both students and teachers use what you have demonstrated.
  • Allow newbies to teach you. There are far more things available to learn than anyone person can find or filter. When a novice feels passionate about something, you can learn from that passion. It allows the new teacher to hone their skills as well. That old adage, To teach someone something, you must understand it yourself, rings true.
  • Write it down. Remembering everything that you discuss is impossible. When you, in your role as mentor, provide the written feedback or resources, or share from your accumulated wealth of materials, you ease the burden and prime the pump.
  • Share the tricks of the trade. Reinventing the wheel is unnecessary and wastes precious time and energy. Pass on your favorite book titles, websites, Apps, enrichment techniques, copy machine tricks, organizing ideas, classroom management strategies and coffee shops on the route to school. A gift card or two is also a nice touch. Introduce them to staff, district employees, parents and community members who are helpful and supportive and show them where the potholes in the road are, both in and out of the classroom.
  • Praise them in front of their peers. I’ve written before about how this can be over and inappropriately used. Those comments still apply. But the teacher just starting out needs to know that someone is in their corner, and is willing to go public about it. Make the comments specific and positive, because that can be inspiring.
  • Be available. You get to decide where and when, but then BE there, be totally there.
  • Be hands off. You have your own classroom, your own set of students. Let your mentee do rather than watch. Active learning is much more likely to result in permanent changes than watching.

Making sure that supervision experiences are offered on a credit/no-credit basis rather than for a grade goes a long way to opening students up to asking questions to aid learning rather than worrying that revealing lack of certainty will negatively impact their performance assessment in college courses. These are the practical application of theory and

Pedagogy, the proof in the pudding. Teaching is not about what we know, but about what we can help someone else to learn. When you can be intensely happy because you can help someone else achieve their dreams, you have it in you to be a great teacher.

A Great Professional Development Experience

By Nick McDaniels — Last week, after finishing the school year, but before starting work for the Summer, I was fortunate enough to attend three full days of professional development training. Admittedly, this is the first time that I ever used the words “fortunate” and “professional development” in the same sentence, as P.D.’s are usually known among teachers at best as an easy paycheck and at worst as a profound waste of time. The professional development I attended last week, however, was better — much better. It was so good, in fact, that I didn’t mind spending three full days in the same room, with the same colleagues and the same teacher.

Having taken a class on creating good professional development, I know that good P.D. is like good teaching; it is well-planned, responsive, and a differentiated. But none of that mattered last week. It was good P.D. because the facilitator was amazing.

Ms. T, a teacher for four decades, a master at teaching kids was so full of information and details that every goal of the professional development was fulfilled and everything I was supposed to learn, I did. Still, what I will take away from those three days has little to do with the teaching of English, but more with the love of teaching.

Ms. T. loves teaching children and adults. Her presentation clearly shows that. For three entire days, she modeled incredible teaching strategies that have been honed over the years, but what stood out was the way she talked about her former students and teachers she had mentored. She speaks with exceptional pride about every person she has impacted, but not about her impact upon them, about their achievements. She knows their stories, what they were doing when she taught them, and what they are doing now. Like most P.D. facilitators, she filled her session with stories from her classroom, but unlike most P.D. facilitators she resisted the urge to talk about the things she did inside her classroom, but rather things that her students did.

Leaving the sessions after each day, I could not get over the pride she had in her students and how openly and passionately she talked about them.

As a teacher, I am proud of my students, and I try every day to express that pride to them, but I am guilty of not talking about my pride in them passionately and to others. This kind of pride in students is infectious and can transform schools, and transform public perceptions. And while I might be a better English teacher next year because of this professional development, I will definitely be a better teacher, and quite possibly a better ambassador for our students, because I listened to and was inspired by Ms. T.


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