Are You Ready to Go ROGUE?- 1/3/20

A few weeks ago, during a #PD4uandme Saturday morning chat, Traci Browder, @TraciBrowder, shared how she had just read a book that changed her perspective on her mornings and made them more productive. In this book, Ms. Foy discusses 5 habits that successful people do before 8 AM. In my last blog post, I shared how some of them I already do- with some degree of regularity, such as #3- Listen to audio teaching (I am an avid podcast listener!) and #5- Exercise (I try to get up and moving every morning- even if it is just walking the dog.) But #2 (Read a lot!) and #5 (Write and review their dreams and goals regularly) were things I had previously done at night with little consistency.

So began my journey this year to read more and reflect regularly. Winter Break seemed the perfect time to get started.

In December, I had participated in the 12 Days of PD, #40CF12days. When I started, i knew there would be giveaways, but I participated as a way to reflect and share out. So imagine my surprise when I found out I was one of the winners... I was so excited and knew that I had to read The Four O'Clock Faculty. It had been on my Amazon wish list for quite a while.

It arrived as I was finishing up Book #1: Be Real and I knew it needed to be next. In my district, finding time for professional learning is such a challenge. This year, we have even less time allotted to this pursuit. After reading other similar books such as Professionally Driven and attending many sessions at #ISTE19 on personalized professional development, I was eager to find some new ways to add bytes of professional learning into the school day and beyond.


As I began reading, I was struck by the way Rich Czyz approached his core beliefs. This summer, while at #ISTE19, I attended a session that compared professional development versus professional learning. It shared how professional learning is generally looked at more favorably; while professional development is usually considered to be mandatory and one size fits all. While this is not always the case, two things seem to differentiate the perceptions of these terms: Do educators get a choice in what and how they learn? Do educators feel what they learn is meaningful in their practice?

As a tech coach, this is a delicate balance to navigate. My current school is a model PLC school- we focus on four questions as we strive to improve student outcomes. One day, we focus on reading and another day, on math. As we do so, do we consider these other lenses? As a new member of the staff, I am still learning more about this PLC structure (I am attending a PLC cohort in late January.)

As I continued reading, I was struck by Rich's focus on the importance of how conversations can lead to true professional development. Having attended a few EdCamps over the past two years, I not only understand this sentiment, but agree 100%.

I have learned so much during these Saturday mornings. The conversations that I have participated in have not only led me to try and implement new things, but have led me to make some amazing connections and additions to my #PLN.

I love getting the opportunity to share what I am doing and learn from others. For those of us who love to learn and share, these Saturday morning EdCamps are gold mines of information:)

As a tech coach, I find that time is often one of my biggest barriers to delivering professional development. That is why I really appreciated how many new and innovative ideas Rich shared to make the most of the limited time we have for professional development.

These ideas can be shared in short amounts of time from just five minutes to longer amounts. The amount of time isn't as important as the relevance to needs.

I would explain all of these amazing ideas, but then you wouldn't get to experience them in Rich's book. Chapters 4 and 5 of his book give you so many options, but like any instruction, you need to base what you choose on your teacher's needs and what works in your school.

But if these ideas do not work for you right now, Rich also shares many ways to go it alone. I have captured a few of my favorites here. What I love about these is they seem to be recurring themes as I read more and more books this break.

So many of the books I have read share the common themes of using our morning time for ourselves to learn, to reflect and to connect to our greater purpose.

In my last post, I shared how I was reconnecting with journaling. How I was using my journal to document my learning journey and meeting my 2020 goals. Who knew this was the greatest single act I could do to improve. How can I add these questions to amplify its impact?

Are you ready to go ROGUE- find a Relevant Organized Group of Underground Educators? If you are, I urge you to go beyond what has been traditional considered professional development. Seek out new ways to encourage conversations among your colleagues and if all else fails, find your own ROGUE group. The Four O'Clock Faculty is a great way to get started. I can't wait to use my newly found ROGUE strategies to empower and engage my colleagues in 2020. After all, I did CHALLENGE myself to take risks and I can't think of a better way to start!