Professional Development Days

Professional Development Days

Many of my friends seem to think Pro-D days are also days off for teachers. This couldn’t be more inaccurate. As much as I’d like to catch up on my marking, I am not allowed to do so. So I keep the marking for after school, or in the evening, while my partner cooks and looks after the house for me.

He’s currently cooking me dinner and I’ve been marking and reading various articles for the past two hours. Here’s what just showed up in front of me, at 9:30pm!


Ok, I have to admit. It doesn’t look nearly as good as it was. Poor lighting…

Something JQ teachers are also not allowed to do** is to spend their day at a coffee shop. We can’t be working from home either. We must work from school or we must sign up for a workshop. If we sign up for a workshop, this usually means we’ll have to cover the cost of this workshop using our own money. I’ve been working at this school for over 10 years now and these rules have always been around.

**I only speak about JQ as I never worked at a different school. I suspect it’s the same story elsewhere.


Instead, to show that we are “professionally engaged and learning”, we work with a colleague or two. Not everyone works with a group of people, of course, but we usually take time to share with others what we’ve learned and what we’ve been working on while on our own.

There are times in the year where we also meet as a school and work on a specific goal for that day. In the past, we’ve discussed literacy, wellness, oral French, and many more subjects connected to our practice.

Tomorrow will be a self-directed day for me and for may others at our school. It means I’ve chosen to explore things on my own, surrounded by only a few colleagues who share the same desire. While my students will be at home reading (I’m hopeful!) I’ll be at school (bright and early) to work.

My goal for that day is to explore various websites and to learn more about technology and how to engage my students with their learning. To help me with this, I plan on visiting the following three sites:

1) 21st Century Tools for Teaching – People and Learners

2) The 21st Century

3) SmartBrief on EdTech

Here’s how my day will unfold:

Mme Dobry and Mme Caroline (Mme Geneviève’s student teacher) will be spending their day with me. Mme Teresa will also be joining us for part of the day.

9:00 – Reading articles, visiting and trying new sites and new online programs

10:30 – Recess (Artigiano coffee is delicious… one can hope! šŸ™‚ ) – I plan on making a phone call to Québec to discuss programming issues with a friend expert in the field.

10:45 – Sharing new discoveries & discussions around learning and using technology in the classroom. All teachers involved (there may be more than us four) will do a summary of what they learned and what appealed to them. We hope to get a lot from this session.

12:15 – Lunch – I plan on working with Mme Toone to talk about & explore the school blog.

13:00 – Exploring and learning how to effectively use our new interactive projector.

For those of you who didn’t know, our school now has 6 of these interactive projectors. They are wonderful tools and I can’t wait to play more with mine!

In the afternoon, a few more teachers may also join us and we’ll explore the world of blogging, Gmail & Google Docs. 

15:00 – End of the day


I hope this allowed you to know a bit more about what our work really is, beyond a classroom full of kids. JQ teachers (and all staff) is a group of amazing people. We are dedicated and we care about our students and their learning. I only shared my personal story but I can attest to the fact that other teachers are also feeling the same way on their side. What you saw on the report cards you received last Friday can only represent a small fraction of the learning that has actually taken place this year. We really care, yes we do! šŸ™‚




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