Thank you to #NAESP16 for allowing me to share Unconferences! Changing the Way We Facilitate Professional Learning. I am inspired by the passion and energy at #NAESP16, and hope you find unconferences to be practical to your leadership and learning. You can find the PowerPoint presentation here and PDF handouts here. Attendees can also download the presentation from the NAESP16 app.
Three core goals of the presentation: Learn why an unconference is supportive to professional learningReview best practice research on professional learningDesign an unconference in your school to promote adult learning, student growth and positive morale
Over my years as a principal, it took me many attempts to design the "just right" professional learning sessions for our rapidly growing and dynamically talented staff. In fact, I'll admit that no matter how hard I tried, no "one" professional learning fit everyone's needs. I wanted to change that somehow.
Then we tried unconfer…
There is no question that educational leaders today deal with a relentless stream of competing demands, requiring them to work at a rapid pace, shifting quickly from one task to another. Often the survival cry of “let’s get it done” is overheard from school leaders as they zigzag between incidental needs and project deadlines. As a result, sometimes school leaders hesitate to stop and seek feedback on the issues that surround them. Some leaders may feel that gathering feedback slows down the pace or creates unnecessary obstacles that could be avoided. Under constant pressure and accountability to be both effective and efficient, it’s easy to see why school leaders can be tempted to skip over the feedback process. But when they do so, they risk the opportunity to launch the best ideas, build quality stakeholder and cultural investment, and make the strongest decisions they can.