Sketchy Professional PD

Summer is a time that many teachers choose their own professional development. Many of us take courses, attend conferences and workshops, or read professional books to enhance our teaching. I’ll be doing those things as well, but I’ll be doing it a little different this summer.

For the past couple of years I’ve kept a sketchnote journal for attending conferences and workshops.  It has really shaped the way I think about the information being presented as well as my ability to revisit the information and reflect more deeply with what resonated.

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This summer I want to apply that way of thinking and responding to my professional reading and my podcast listening as well.  As I am reading or listening, I tune in to what information inspires, challenges, or connects with my current thinking.  I listen for “ah-ha’s” and visualize how that might look with my own teaching or in my life.  Sometimes I sketchnote right then, other times I let things percolate and sketch what ‘sticks’.

I give it a little time and then as I revisit my sketchnotes I add small details and doodles as I meditate on the message-helping to internalize the ideas and epiphanies from the pages. I think I am going to work in black and white this summer, and then add color later to things that I plan to (or have) incorporate into my teaching and coaching. I want these to be interactive and inspirational.  There are too many books I’ve read where I have thought, “That’s a great idea!” and then never applied it to my teaching.  I’m hopeful that this approach will change that.

So here’s to another summer of personalized PD.  May it be enlightening, inspiring, and sketchy!

What’s On My Book Radar?

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Initially this book reminded me of some favorites (Maze Runner, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scar Island) but it quickly developed into a thoughtful and poignant tale that embraced and exposed the joys and fears of childhood. “Nine on an island, orphans all, Any more, the sky might fall.” An idyllic island where once a year a boat arrives with a young orphan (a care) and the oldest orphan (elder) must depart the same day. This ‘changing’ brings stability to the island but uncertainty for those coming and going. On the day Jinny’s best friend, Deen, must depart she becomes the elder and must care for the new child, Ess. With new responsibilities and the inevitability of her limited time on the island, Jinny must come of age with no mentor. She discovers choices have consequences that affect others and that growing up reveals the world doesn’t revolve around you. This book is extraordinary-I couldn’t recommend it more. It will leave you thinking and talking about this book with kids and adults for a long time.

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