Saturday, November 30, 2013

"If You Give a Teacher a Free Day...!".: Allowing Professionals to Develop Independently!


 This year, Monday and Tuesday were designated as Parent-Teacher Conference Days. If you didn't get a large turnout, you had some down time. What's a teacher to do?

If you look at PD days that are scheduled throughout the school year, you would be under the impression that teachers did not have a clue with what to do with "free" time. We are treated like children, and every single second of the day is booked. There is no "free" time given to the teacher, as if without the PD Agenda, our day would be a complete waste of time.Which is funny, because I feel like that at times, even with an agenda.

Well, we proved them wrong. We are professionals. We can manage our time. Teachers used their "free" time to do more than go to lunch together, hang out in the teacher's lounge, or gossip at their classroom doors.

As I walked through the hallways, teachers who were not holding conferences were planning as a team, or on their own. Teachers were in the copy room, running off work. Learning Maps were being hung in the classroom, and student work outside. Papers were being graded. Many teachers breathed a sigh of relief that they finally had some time within the school day to get work done. Yes, get work done!

So you see, we can do this. We can handle teacher-guided professional development days. Do we have to get rid of all workshops and/or agendas?  Of course not. Once in a while I have attended a workshop that was productive. But, if you give a teacher a "free" day... she or he will work!


  1. Thank you very much for all your insightful posts!

  2. There are only so many hours in a day....the grand majority i. our profession will squeeze every minute out of it that we can!

  3. Yes!! We have a school full of teachers that would agree with you!

  4. I remember when I started teaching, we were trusted to use our time wisely! How can we get admin to listen...BC they seem to have forgotten that we aren't min wage workers but professionals!