Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Great Resource for Professional Development

I know, I're a teacher, and you've experienced "professional development by video"...and you were less than impressed. Hold your horses--you need to check this one out! Yesterday, my friend Ed mentioned a great resource for teachers' professional development...and I'm hooked!

You should go and check out But I should warn you, you might want to block off a chunk of time before you get started--you might wind up spending a lot of time here...

The site has hundreds of videos of great teaching happening. You can search by subject (math, reading, etc.) or by topic (differentiated instruction, Common Core, etc.) or by grade band (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). There are a great variety of professionally produced videos from classrooms all over the country, with teachers demonstrating best practices and doing "think alouds" in talking-heads segments to explain why they are doing what they are doing. Really valuable stuff! (Where was this resource when I was a beginning teacher?)

Here's one I just watched about classroom climate that might give you the idea. Great, because it's just a 2-minute video, with a couple questions for you to think about as you watch. Whether you agree with her approach or not, this teacher is going to challenge you to reflect on your own teaching practice--and that's what professional development is all about.

Here's another example I loved--a middle school physics lesson to drive home the idea that wearing a bike helmet is a good idea. Again, some thought questions are given--which would be great for a department meeting or professional learning community--but also the lesson plan and some other tips for incorporating vocabulary instruction, assuming you might want to use this lesson in your own classroom.

Teaching Channel is a non-profit organization, and according to their About Us page, "Our videos are produced by a unique team of professionals—a collaborative effort between video production experts, education advisors, and the classroom teachers themselves. We should point out that Teaching Channel does not determine or influence the content taught in our videos."

I hope you'll take some time to check this site out!

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