I suspect that it has been traditionally believed that the last time you’d want to do staff development was May and early June, just after the school year is over (Northern Hemisphere). Teachers just aren’t ready for it. The tests are behind them, the students are behind them, and vacation is just a few weeks, days, or hours away.
But I’m finding that this is changing, at least when we’re talking about schools and learning 2.0. I found my teacher audiences yesterday in Colorado Springs, and last week in Hawaii to be extraordinarily excited, enthused, attentive, and asking a lot of spot-on questions. ..and I think that the reason why, is that we’re giving them toys. We’re giving these educators toys to play with over the come weeks as they seek to relearn how to relax, and eventually and inevitably start to think about the coming year and decades.
I know of many teachers right now who will be starting the next school year with new connections with other educators and potent information resources, streaming into their newly cultivated aggregators. A few will be blogging, but many more will be contributing to and tapping into their new social bookmarking networks, and also having thought long and hard about what all of this new flow of information means to the definition of literacy.
Being with these educators at this time reaffirms my believe that it’s actually a good time to be a teacher, that some time well within the careers of many of the educators I’ve worked with in the past two weeks, teaching is going to become the most exciting and sought-after occupation on the planet.