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Surviving Teacher Professional Development

If you are anything like me, you love learning and sharpening your teacher tools. However, sitting in multiple day long sessions might not be the best method! Below are a view strategies for getting through the best (and worst) teacher professional development sessions.

1. Take Notes! 
Before you click away, hear me out. If you have to be in the meetings, why not make the most of it?A few years ago I attended a training session by THE Doug Lemov. He made a point that forever changed my thoughts on professional development. He told the group that the best teachers can find "nuggets" in any session that can be tweaked and applied their classrooms. He said it's easy to flaws, but difficult to be an active participant and take away something. Below are a few note taking tools with built-in doodle sections for those of us who need a creative space.  Check out these four templates here.

2. Ask Questions!
I know, I know, no one wants to be the person that "extends" the session, but in my experience it is a rare day when sessions end early. If I am going to sit for 90+ minutes in a session, I'm going to try my best to make the facilitator better by asking questions and getting involved. A good rule of thumb is to ask questions that are applicable beyond your classroom, but related to the topic.

When in doubt, be prepared to work on something else. This might seem like I am backing up on my on my previous suggestions, but let's be honest...there are sessions that no amount of notes or questions will help. In those cases, come prepared. Bring something that you can you work on without being too obvious. The key is to ensure that you have you work that doesn't require the internet. When all else fails, enjoy these memes about about meetings and professional development!
So how do you make it through teacher PD? Please share in the comments! 
Tanesha Forman
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