When teaching writing, on-going professional development is essential and should always be responsive to specific needs. Sometimes, though, we need to search for opportunities on our own in order to empower ourselves in the classroom. However, many teachers may not be able to attend conferences and workshops or take courses due to financial constraints. Therefore, professional development may need to be more informal. Thankfully, teachers no longer need to be isolated or to learn on their own thanks to technology. Professional development may take many forms including online book studies, websites, and videos. Twitter and Facebook can also provide opportunities for learning and connecting with other educators. I’ve included some suggestions and examples of resources to support informal professional development.
I’ve mentioned websites in other posts, but feel strongly that there are a number of sites that I think are worth referencing again. These sites are ones that I visit on a regular basis and provide quality information.
The following videos are just a few that are available online. These videos can be viewed at anytime and I particularly like being able to pause and rewind to watch parts of the videos as needed. I included a few examples below.
- The following is a video presented by Ruth Ayres on writing notebooks. https://youtu.be/q9Lhln1QzPU
- Jess Keating’s YouTube channel includes videos about writing that can be used with students. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1sICKE7h5HPcLxVAnlsOsQ
- The following link includes videos from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project: https://vimeo.com/tcrwp
- This link addresses revision with author Kate Messner https://youtu.be/Dy2X4cos3Vw
I included a list of people to follow on Twitter, although this is by no means a conclusive list. I’ve also discovered that many authors of children’s literature talk about their writing process, which can be shared with students. Many of these folks are also on Facebook and it’s well worth the time to “friend” them or to “like” their pages. In addition, many of these folks can be found in Twitter chats (e.g., #teachwrite, #TWTblog), which provides another informal opportunity for professional development.
@TeachWriteEDU and @laffinteach
The following books are just a few of the titles that populate my e-reader and physical bookshelves. These books not only guide my journey as a teacher who writes, but also the journeys of many other educators. Although conference attendance may not be possible, educators can still learn from these authors. Many of these authors can also be found on social media.
So, while conferences and workshops are great sources of professional development, educators can also engage in more informal opportunities that can also enrich their daily classroom instruction and experiences as teachers who write.