My recent post, Is It Possible To Have Self Directed PD? attracted some quality responses via comments and pingbacks which confirmed my ideas could and have worked before. Thanks to all who have contributed either to provide examples or additional thoughts. I would highly recommend downloading the pdf file that Doug Johnson provided. Titled "The 21st Century Educator", it is a highly developed professional development program with rubrics, growth targets and exemplars. Although it would need a fair bit of Australianisation, what I really like is the structure it would bring to what would essentially be a "just in time" program for my colleagues.
I'm confident that my principal can see value in my proposal after an interesting ICT Committee meeting on Friday. We were talking about the increased pressure on valuable work time when our very capable network manager (who also has quite a few other admin responsibilities) is treated by a lot of our staff as the on call help desk. Sometimes, I attract that sort of requests for help as well. The requests, which all take time and goodwill, range from unjamming printers to showing someone how to do an e-mail attachment to printing off a class list to troubleshooting unplugged cables. Ann, my principal then said that it sounded like a lot of staff needed "just-in-time" skills training so that they could solve these problems on their own and allow the admin time to be well used. Bingo! I gave a thumbnail sketch of my proposal and we also agreed to draw up an ICT technology skills register of staff members so that we all could be become each other's help desk instead of relying on the goodwill and expertise of one or two people. These skills acquisitions are different to my self-directed learning proposal and need to be kept separate but the value of people starting where they are and looking at mapping their way forward is exactly the mindshift us 21st educators need to take.