Tag Archives: professional development

More pseudo-Professional Development

We had an in-service last week. Another dreadful waste of 4 hours.

The title of the conference was “Disruptive Behavior Disorders” and it was presented by a local Ph.D. I was excited because of the reputation of the clinic this psychologist worked at.

The room was full of about 25-30 folks – most (90% of better) from the k-12 education realm. So I was looking forward to getting some good strategies to add to my bag of tricks on dealing with kids with behaviors.

Of course, if that happened, I probably wouldn’t have been driven to type this post.

We spent the morning talking about many of the disruptive behavior disorders that are out there.  And why do I need to know more labels to put on my kids?  So they have Oppositional Defiant Disorder?  Now what???  Okay, they’ve got a conduct disorder.  NOW WHAT???

Sadly, we didn’t get to the interventions.  We spent waaaaaayyyy too much time focused on what disorders are out there and only about 15 minutes on what we can do about it.  How is this good use of funds in a school district that WILL cut $800,000 from next year’s budget?

How can I be an instrument of change so that we don’t continue to waste money on professional development that is unhelpful and irrelevant?


This was going to be a comment at leadertalk but they think it was spam (what does this say about the quality of my words…?).  So I’ve chosen to post it here an link back to there.

My school just initiated a virtual staff meeting.  We have recently read an article “Working Inside the Black Box” (Black, et al) and have recorded our inner conversations in the margins of the printed article.

School staff, with the support and encouragement of administration, has set up a discussion board that is accessible to our school staff and a hand-picked panel of “experts” in the field of instruction and assessment.


I have learned that to really get the most out of these communication tools, we must open up the walls of our school and invite as many people as possible to the conversation.  This idea was briefly mentioned at a small committee meeting while setting up the discussion board, but was quickly shot down as “dangerous” (my word, not theirs).  Perhaps there are teachers in our building who may not take well to criticism from outside our building.  Maybe this is just a first step in our school’s progress towards a global learning community. I ‘m not sure.  I just feel like we’re missing out on a potentially incredibly conversation by closing off this discussion.


My question is this – how can I point out the fact that the benefits from opening up the conversation far outweigh any drawbacks?    Are there some articles out there I could share with the committee that would persuade them to include the world on this conversation?