How to get through any professional development

I’ve been really fortunate so far, in that I haven’t had loads of really lame professional development experiences.  In two years of teaching, I can really only think of one day that I will never get back.

I’m not saying that I’m going through this right now.  This summer physics class is great – I’m just not learning any new physics right now.  But I am working with partners who are new to the physics and it is incredibly illuminating.  I think about every minute I’m asking them “tell me what you’re feeling, tell me what you’re thinking.”  Suddenly I have a window into the world of cognitive dissonance.  This isn’t my main point.

At the same time I am constantly fighting boredom and the desire to take over and do the experiments right!  Their learning be damned!  But instead, I am making a mental inventory of what I’m doing to indicate my boredom.  And every time I’ve got an identifiable behavior, I think of when I’ve seen a student do the same damn thing.  It’s kind of amusing.

So there it is.  Next time I’m bored in a PD, I’ll have a list of student names in front of me.  And I might break into laughter at inappropriate times.

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