24 Mar

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.


Posted by on March 24, 2022 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Believe

  1. Radutti

    March 24, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Ha! I had an eerily similar conversation today, and I think the question raised about effective instruction rings true – would we try this same strategy with kids, and would it be effective? Adult learners are generally so quiet and polite as we ‘sit and don’t git’. Thanks for the share!

  2. wordancerblog

    March 24, 2022 at 11:36 am

    Blood born pathogens! Everyone in my school complains about that one! We used to have to watch it all together in the school theater. So one year, we quite spontaneously made it into a “Rocky Horror Show”-style event and started responding aloud to the video. Everyone was laughing and having fun. The administration got the hint and let us watch the film individually at our own convenience. And yes – I can ace the quiz without watching the video now. That’s not cheating – that’s retaining the information, right? At least we don’t waste an hour in a PD meeting.

    I like your label – toxic positivity – it is spot on. I little negativity can lead to positivity.


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