In February, 2007, I emailed our Head and Assistant Head with a proposal based on Robert Greenleaf, who was booked as the speaker for our September, 2007, opening faculty meetings. Our middle school principal and myself had both heard Greenleaf speak several times (and I attended a two-day workshop of his), so I knew that he would bring a practical and stimulating start to our year.
In the past, we’ve had interesting speakers for opening meetings but a common feedback thread has often been that we have no follow-up during the school year. My suggestion was to plan a year (beginning with last summer) of professional development based around “Creativity and the Brain”.
There are a number of workshops and conferences that take place throughout the year which deal with this topic, and our year of focus could culminate on our April, 2008 professional development day.
Back in February I put forth the following sets of activities:
~ July, 2007: Building Learning Communities (2007 Blog) – send one member of each Academic department
~ August, 2007: The Brain, Learning & Applications Institute – send one member from each division (LS, MS and US)
~ Summer, 2007: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – send 20 faculty, including all Department Heads, both academic and nonacademic
~ November, 2007: Learning & the Brain conference – send one person from each subject area
~ Kripalu Center – send 10 faculty who have not already attended a conference or workshop
~ April, 2008: Learning & the Brain conference – send all of the Resource faculty and grade level Deans
On Professional Development Day in April, everyone would come together to recount their experiences. There would be a forum for sharing information, perhaps as in-house workshops, organized by a committee of faculty.
Alas, neither the Head or Assistant Head were interested. Perhaps it was the cost, or the scope, or simply that they do not typically have professional development themes that run throughout the year. Whatever the reason, the proposal went no further than their thanking me for submitting it.
I am posting it here in case anyone wants to offer feedback (constructive suggestions are always welcome!) and to add it to my online collection of musings about professional development.