PD is a huge part of any educator's life. We as teachers are always teaching/leading others and always learning ourselves. W/ that being said I decided to give my top ten tips that I use when doing Professional Development. As any list this is subjective and open for debate, I'd love to hear what tools that others use that they find successful.
Top Ten Tips for Professional Development
- Flexibility - Not only a great skill for PD but teaching as well. You always want a backup plan just in case something is not working, ie the internet.
- Knowledge - It's very important to have a vast knowledge of the topic you're teaching. You don't have to be a "jedi master" but at least be able to answer the majority of questions.
- Confidence - This goes along w/ knowledge, nothing is more uncomfortable for the audience then watching somebody who looks like they don't deserve/want to be there.
- Innovation - I find it very important to use a variety of tools and present information in a new way to keep your audience engaged.
- Organization - An organized presentation will make the presenter's life that much easier!
- Resources - One of the things I pride myself on is giving the audience something tangible that they can take back w/ them or download (ie, digital books, CD, etc.).
- Creativity - This goes hand and hand w/ innovation and helps keeps audience engaged and wanting more. The traditional Powerpoint presentation is no longer realistic for a 21st Century audience.
- Humility - There is nothing that bothers me more then watching a presentation/educator who thinks they are a "know-it-all". We can always learn more especially from each other. That is exactly what developing a Personal Learning Network is all about. It's vital for a presenter to be open to constructive criticism and be good at self reflection.
- Humor - It's always nice to be able to open up in front of a large crowd and there is nothing better then having a sense of humor. Remember not to change who you are when presenting but be your self and let your natural sense of humor shine through!!
- Availability - It is always nice to be available to your audience for networking/answering questions at any time. Make yourself available and approachable to help strengthen your skill set.