I saw a post about some dreadful PD. The writer was noticing the pedagogical strategies employed during PD and wondering what would happen if teachers in the classroom used similar techniques. She bemoaned the waste of an opportunity.
Anyone who has attended PD can relate.
Someone saw this as an opportunity to respond. He said (because of course it was a man), “I don’t believe this is true.” He went on to boast that no matter how awful the presentation, he ALWAYS was able to learn, that he refused to allow his time to be wasted. One of his claims was that the teacher and the learner are both equally responsible for the effectiveness of the lesson.
Now, I applaud his curiosity and willingness to make the best of every learning opportunity. I agree that we can still learn even if the teaching strategies are less than effective. I can even see the importance of the learner’s attitude.
But this guy had no idea what was happening in her PD session. I watch the same bloodborne pathogen training every year. I can’t skip the training videos and show my mastery on the quiz. I have to play the videos (even if I don’t watch them) before testing out of the training. Is Mr.-Know-It-All taking away vital professional development from those videos?
Sometimes, I see colleagues who have their eyes set on administrative roles. Sometimes, these teachers suddenly catch a case of toxic positivity. Sometimes, anyone who doesn’t share this toxic positivity must be part of the problem.
I didn’t engage with him. I didn’t challenge his dismissal of her frustrations. Maybe I should have, but I’m too old to argue with strangers online. But, to those of you annoyed with boring PD that doesn’t seem to help, I hear your cries.