“Professional Development…as opposed to Amateur Inertia?”

“Professional Development…as opposed to Amateur Inertia?” – Dana Diesel Wallace, Ed.D

According to Dr. Wallace, the term Professional Development (PD if you’re in the profession) is an old construct and she holds the belief (now shared by this educator) that, moving forward, we should begin addressing it as “adult education”. The reason…not a lot of professionals feel developed after a PD session. They feel drained.

After four sessions of fast paced intellectual work, the 2014-2015 Teacher Leadership Initiative cohort is far from having empty tanks. To the contrary, they are in the groundswell of something great; and they know it. They crave the information Schools That Lead is pulling out of their colleagues and as a collective are making each individual better at what they do. Powerful stuff…Powerful.

That word is at the center of what we’re hoping to get a handle on. Advancing POWERFUL student learning by creating Teacher Leaders armed with an arsenal of strategies to help themselves and their building mates bring the students of Delaware to unseen levels.

Why are we doing it? Because it’s important. It’s necessary. It’s addictive.

This work is the most important of this author’s 13 year career in the profession. A five year stint as a Department Chairperson at my last post in preparation for a transition to the “Dark Side” as a building administrator…Ha!…that paled in comparison to the four days I’ve spent doing the work I’m doing with this cohort.

And we’re not done.

Relationships and networks are being formed; those that will spread through the state and hopefully resonate with some of the legislators in Dover. Growth is occurring at a frenetic rate and that growth is infectious. We are learning how to provide data driven feedback to colleagues to help them advance their craft. Pinning down this idea of what a Teacher Leader can be and how educators shouldn’t be afraid of that moniker because of some connotation it may garner in the future. Imbuing the very fabric of our days with the idea that getting better at what we do is going to get students better at what they do.

Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about?

Josh Farside

Josh Farside is an educator in the Red Clay Consolidated School District. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and a master’s in educational leadership from Wilmington University.