5. Collaborative (The ‘C’ in CHOICE)*

There should be opportunities for collaboration and sharing ideas, lessons, and applications. These can come in the form of teacher-led presentations and workshops. But they can also come in the form of individuals sharing their progress in small groups. It could be one-on-one conversations with colleagues. Educators have a lot to say and a lot to share. We should not only allow that but encourage it. We may not always have the time or the ability to make this happen, but when we can, we should lean toward a real opportunity for educators to work together on the things they need most. This doesn’t mean that every staff meeting should have butcher paper and post-it notes, or that every PD opportunity needs a gallery walk. It means that when authentic opportunities to collaborate present themselves, we should allow them to happen. For example, several of my colleagues noticed that there were constant troubles associated with using the new Google Classroom in our district. In response, they organized a group to try to identify areas of concern and work together on problem-solving solutions. A great opportunity to work together for a common cause.

We should think about this concept the way Flipped Learning teachers do. What is the best use of face-to-face time? What can only be done in the shared space? If we can put the introductory or perfunctory information in the individual space, and use the time together to share ideas, concerns, and solutions, we are taking another step in a positive direction.

*excerpt from the book Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development