I really am thankful for my professional learning communities. There’s the English Language Arts group I meet with in my building to evaluate student work on formative assessments. And the smart, amazing community of all the middle school librarians in my district. The K-12 area wide group of public and private school librarians I meet with every month stretches my understanding and they always provide me with good ideas.
But it’s my social media PLC that provokes the most growth and opens me to a wider world. On Wednesdays and Saturdays I faithfully read the blogs I follow and go through my Twitter feed. By choosing to follow people outside my region, academic specialty, race, and socio-economic group I am always challenged in my teaching and my understanding of my students as I work to reach my TPEP goals.
But one area of my social media life is completely divorced from any vestige of professional learning. When I open up my Pinterest a account, the screen floods with dessert recipes, knitting patterns, up-cycled sewing projects, and art made by kids. Was I missing out on a chance to expand my TPEP resources through Pinterest?
Typing TPEP in the Pinterest search box brought up a few teacher-made handouts for student goal setting, and infographics showing differentiation strategies. I didn’t have to scroll down very far before the pins were all about pep talks and brain pep medications. Plus worryingly large number of pins on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
I had better luck when I searched using the words Teacher Principal Evaluation Project. Here are some of the pins that were worth a closer look:
- A Taxonomy of Reflection – a few concrete steps to get the most out of a process that is at the heart of the TPEP.
- Observation Look Fors – it was helpful to see the basic qualities and strategies that are typically evaluated during a classroom observation.
- The Other 21st Century Skills – how can promoting traits such as grit, problem solving, and collaboration become part of our instruction?
- Preparing Student Portfolios for Student Led Conferences – practical advice for implementing this high-leverage practice.
- What is Student Feedback? – an anchor chart for types of feedback students can provide for each other.
- A Cooperative Learning anchor chart describing the roles and expectations of group members – useful for creating cooperative groups that are effective and accountable.
Sprinkled among the helpful pins were quite a few that were less useful unless I wanted to buy a specialized binder to collect my TPEP evidence, find where I fit on the Workplace Zodiac, purchase a book about creating IEP checklists, or mysteriously, locate sewing projects that can be make with 1/2 yard of fabric.
Is it worth it to add Pinterest to the list of places you visit for TPEP inspiration? It’s not a definite yes. But I’m glad I took the time to look outside my usual social network tools for for professional development. What are your go-to social networking tools that have helped you to meet your TPEP goals?
Latest posts by Chris Gustafson (see all)
- What Do Teachers Wish Administrators Knew About TPEP? - June 11, 2016
- What Can You Learn About TPEP from Pinterest? - May 20, 2016
- TPEP – The Administrator’s Point of View - April 15, 2016