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Some of the Things Teachers Collaborate on at Workshops and Professional Development

Workshops and Professional Development Meeting Days

If you have been working as a teacher for at least ten years, you have probably attended meetings with expert facilitators as guest speakers for the meeting. The objective of the workshops and professional development meetings is to teach teachers the latest strategies that could be used in the classroom to help students learn.

Some of the workshops and professional development have value. However, other workshops have little to no value in the classroom. Here are some of the strategies that I remember from previous workshops or professional development.

Patty Cakes

The first and probably the most ridiculous exercise I have ever encountered at a workshop or professional development was being taught how to play patty cakes.

Okay, I want everyone to turn to a neighbor next to you. We are going to learn an exercise for you to use in the classroom. “I realize this is an elementary school exercise, but I believe it has value for high school students as well,” said the speaker.

With reluctance, the teachers paired up with another teacher. The speaker then instructed the teachers to play patty cake. I remember some of the side comments teachers shared because of this activity. I believe the majority of the teachers followed instructions and went along with the speaker. However, there were a few teachers in the back of the room who didn’t take part in the exercise.

To the speaker’s credit, she did mention she was a former elementary school teacher before she did consulting work. This was probably the most ridiculous activity I ever saw in a workshop or professional development.

How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

The next activity came from another professional development. The teachers were asked to write directions to another person to describe how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This activity on the surface seemed like a waste of time, but after looking at the activity objectively, I saw the value in the activity.

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