Host a Pajama PD Day
Rachel Langenhorst, K-12 Technology Integrationist and Instructional Coach in Rock Valley, IA, was interviewed on Education Talk Radio for edWeb.net‘s monthly show by Program Host Larry Jacobs along with Lisa Schmucki, edWeb founder. Rachel, Larry, and Lisa talked about the pajama PD day that Rachel’s district held during a recent snow day.
The teacher-leadership team in Rock Valley had already planned for a full day of professional development, but had to rethink their plans when the forecast called for a snowstorm. “Our days are very valuable… we didn’t want that to go to waste. We wanted to make sure we could use our time wisely,” said Rachel. The team meets frequently to discuss PD plans, and during a past meeting the idea of a pajama PD day was brought up. However, this was something that required just the right opportunity to implement. The day before the storm, the idea was reintroduced. With approval from the superintendent and a lot of reworking of the next day’s plans, the pajama PD day was quickly put together.
How did Rock Valley pull this off with such little time? The idea was introduced early in the morning, leaving enough time to get approval quickly from the superintendent. The teachers were immediately notified of the plans for the pajama PD day and told that instructions with links would come to them via email. The district used the app and website, Nearpod, which allowed them to upload slides with audio, video, and website links. They also used Google Docs and the district’s community on edWeb.net to answer questions and collaborate with each other.
According to Rachel, “You don’t want delivery methods (of PD) that are constant every time…you will get teachers that are sick of it.” This new delivery method of PD was refreshing and fun for the teachers. With Snapchats, social media posts, texts, and phone calls, the response to the pajama PD day was overwhelmingly positive. As for pajama PD in the future, the teachers are already looking forward to the next snow day.
This article was modified and published by eSchool News.
For more ideas on personalized PD, watch “Implementing a Personalized PD Program in Your District.”
About the Guest
Rachel Langenhorst is a K-12 technology integrationist and instructional coach in Rock Valley, IA and she also serves as an adjunct professor for Northwestern College. A 20+ year teaching veteran, Rachel presents throughout the Midwest, focusing on technology integration strategies and best practices. She serves as a contributor for Mackin Educational Resources, edWeb.net, and Education Talk Radio. Find Rachel on Twitter @rlangenhorst and on her blog at Tech from the Trenches.