Ever since I moved into administration, I’ve felt that February is the toughest month of the school year. It is the month when the challenges of the current school year peak (student challenges, a global pandemic?!?), and when the planning for next school year is most intense (getting curriculum guides out, hiring, making admissions decisions). The weather doesn’t help either, at least where I’m writing from in the northeast United States.
These challenges make it the most difficult month to be proactive and engage deeply in our own professional development. And yet, if we don’t work proactively, we run the risks of doing the same thing (and making the same mistakes) year-over year.
A couple of years ago, we developed On-Demand programs to allow independent school educators to quickly understand key issues in our field. Participants start whenever they are ready on a four-hour journey into a topic, and have thirty days to complete their course. These more “bite-size” programs help administrators align their work to best practice quickly. We find that most participants do the programs over a weekend.
Given the challenge of this time of year, here are three programs that might be of help right now:
Whether you are an administrator, department chair or a classroom teacher, this is your chance to learn something new and improve your practice.
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Brad Rathgeber (he/him/his)