Monday, September 5, 2011

Challenges for the new school year

I'm really excited about two new responsibilities I have this year: starting a debate/speaking club, and heading my school's professional development through lesson visits program.

I've never done anything even remotely similar to the debate club before, but have been asking to do it all last year. Now I've got a few books and some videos and maybe can visit a nearby school and see how they do it... but mostly it'll be a trial and error work in progress.  I hope it will be tons of fun, as well as teach kids (and me) a zillion useful debate, speech, and argumentation skills.

Leading the lesson visits program is going to be awesome, and from the tens of lesson visits I did with my math colleagues last year, I think I'm on a somewhat solid footing. I firmly believe in this kind of professional development, and am very happy that my tiny school is finally committing to it. I'll be guiding my coworkers, sometimes coaxing and sometimes nagging them, to visit each other's lessons and then to talk about their experiences with other teachers. I have in mind some ideas all of which involve a framework for planning, visiting, and feedbacking the lesson. This book has some good suggestions. I know I've seen more great stuff on the blogosphere, and if someone'd care to point me in a promising direction I'd be most grateful.

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