The Educator's PLN

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I hope you realize you have the best job...

The last 4 weeks have been extremely busy for me. We recently started a brand new gradebook and website system in my school district. This has proven to be an amazing tool and
resource as we look to ways to improve education. For all the greatness
this new opportunity provides, we have been faced with the never ending
battle of growing and developing educators so they can utilize this new
resource. As exciting as it is to work with educators with the goal of
improving education for our students, it is a tiring and exhausting
process of which I have personally never experienced. Additionally, we
have been doing a ton of work in preparation for our first full-day
professional development day of the school year. The last 6 years I
have spent in the district we have conducted half-day PD days, and I
have been really looking forward to the full-day PD days we are starting
this year. Needless to say, the last few weeks have flown by, and they
have put my organizational and instructional leadership skills to the

Today we had our high school's first full-day professional development day. Overall I am very happy with the outcome, and I look forward to
hearing the opinions or others, as well as the comments which should
hopefully help us to continue to improve upon our professional
development days. I would be lying if I said I believe every single
member of the staff was completely satisfied with our first PD day...but
overall, I think it went rather well and our teachers were able to get
some valuable information and resources to improve the educational
climate at our high school. As a leading member of the professional
development team, it is hard to accept the fact that some teachers left
our first PD day looking like this:

By no means do we try to make the lives of our teachers more complicated or difficult, but rather we are trying to concentrate on the kids, and
the ways we can make the educational process more effective and relevant
for them. I will concede to the fact that we threw a ton of
information at our teachers today, and it is totally possible that some
left today's PD day overwhelmed and searching for answers. One of the
great advantages of having full-day PD days is that we get a ton of of the most apparent disadvantages of having full-day PD days
is that we have so much time that we run the risk of introducing too
much to our teachers.

I am not saying our teachers can't handle the large amounts of
information, but we have to be aware of their feelings. If our teachers
feel stressed and overwhelmed we will most definitely see a decline in
overall teacher effectiveness in the following weeks. I am cautiously
optimistic that any feelings of stress will be short-lived, and will
hopefully culminate into feelings of inspiration and motivation toward
using this new information to enhance classroom instruction. Hopefully,
teachers will come to school on Monday looking like this:

"I hope you realize you have the best job," is the title of this blog post. As educators we work in a system that provides us with the time and resources to grow and develop. This job accepts that we are not
perfect, and that we all have room to improve. This job recognizes
failure as an integral part of success. This job pushes and encourages
us to share and collaborate in an effort to completely eliminate the
concept of isolation. The job of an educator is the best job because it
gives us all the opportunity to grow, develop, refine, reinvent,
evolve, and most importantly the opportunity to impact the lives of
others. The struggles and tribulations we face as educators are merely
pit stops on the NEVER-ENDING journey of growth. The job that does not
allow and encourage you to grow, is the job you should be thankful you
don't have...

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Comment by Justin Tarte on October 9, 2010 at 10:01am
Amy - Edline is the new program we are using. It has been really great thus far...the most difficult part is getting staff and parents on board to make sure everyone is aware of the program's benefits. We have created our own FAQ's page, as well as video presentation to help our staff and parents navigate the new program. Involve the parents, students, and teachers in making your decision!!
Comment by Shawn Storm on October 9, 2010 at 9:24am
our district uses schoolwires.
Comment by Amy B. on October 8, 2010 at 10:55am
We are looking into upgrading our website to an outside vendor. Is that what your school system did as well? If so, i'd be curious as to which vendor won your support?


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