TOP PD CHEF — flipped PD video

We believe that our students are at the heart of all we do, and inherent in this reality is the opportunity to further amplify student voice.  This school year we’ve had students teach us about Sphero programmable robot droids at a PD breakout session, and we even had kids present to our School Board as part of our site curriculum presentation.  Now our students are helping us flip a faculty PD session!

The flipped PD video that’s linked above features students from the principal’s podcast crew that elected to give up one recess period to spend a working lunch with their principal creating a video for us.  Teachers are asked to watch the four minute video and reflect on their learning and PD this school year. That’s all that needs to happen prior to our PD session on May 18th.  The video provides an overview that will allow us to maximize our time together.

I’m really looking forward to our next PD session.  We’re serving up an innovative PD experience using a format made popular by the hit TV show: CHOPPED! Come hungry to collaborate and bring your appetite too!  We’ll be using a semi-structured format to facilitate cross grade-level collaboration with a relaxed culinary backdrop.

About Dr. Brad Gustafson

I am an elementary principal and author in Minnesota. You can connect with me at or on Twitter via @GustafsonBrad

Posted on April 29, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Margaret Volak

    Hello, Dr. Gustafson!

    I’€™m always inspired by what I see and read from your blog. I’ve already mentioned your name to our district, just in case you’€™d like to move to PA!

    I am a 2nd gr. teacher and just sat in on a Task Force for our district discussing 21st Century plans for us. Some of us are ahead of the game, some in the stone ages….I have a few questions if you wouldn’t mind….

    -Do your teachers get as excited about technology as YOU? How do you get them all on board? I host a Tech Talk for Teachers in our building, I can only get a handful to show up.

    -We are testing BrightBytes (assuming all is approved!) this year to get a feel for where the teachers are and what they need. Have you used this? Have any feedback? I would have rather seen this money be put into devices for our classrooms, but I see their point. You just can’€™t drop off devices/technology in a 1:1 program if teachers aren’€™t strong and effective and willing to use. (I offered to be the primary 1:1, but nobody listened to me!) How do you know what the teachers/students/admin. know about using technology and what PD plan can we build? Thus, this tech. survey/program.

    -Your PD, I noticed the timing. Is that the end of your school day? Or do your students leave early one day a month? How does that work? If you do PD outside a contract time, not everyone will show up. We offer lots of computer classes, but always after school or in summer. Only the inspired go!

    In summary, how do you push forward with your innovative ideas when not everyone is on board?? How do you inspire to work collaboratively for the good of the school? Change is slow here, I feel, yet the world is changing 10x faster and education is such an exciting time!

    Thank you for making it an exciting, innovative way to learn for your students and teachers!

    Have a great day!

    Peg Volak 2nd Grade John M. Grasse Elementary School

    • Hi Peg,
      Our team is collectively committed to making a difference for kids. When we collaborate on PD we listen to what staff are interested in learning, and structure PD content and processes accordingly. The goal is an affirming and responsive model that leads to teacher empowerment AND ultimately student empowerment. We have an amazing PD team of teachers and they are instrumental in leading this process. In short, it’s more of a “culture thing” than anything else. With a learning ethos a school can change the world. Thanks for checking in.

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