I've been trying to figure out why we have so many school leaders participating in the MI-LIFE program and many on waiting lists for future cohorts. The program, as I've mentioned in previous blogs, is a year-long professional learning program and takes superintendents and principals out of their districts/schools for eleven days during the school year. Additionally, they complete two online courses in the summer.
From face-to-face conversations with participants, comments in our course evaluations, and email correspondence, I have synthesized what I think are the top 10 reasons school leaders are participating in our program and created recommendations that could be relevant for any professional learning programs you might be considering.
- Create a "visible" connection to impacting student achievement
- Include usable and relevant skills which can be used the next day on the "job"
- Demonstrate how to make the work of school leaders more efficient
- Provide time to share concerns with others in the same profession
- Provide time for reflection, something not possible during the workday
- Synthesize best practice for busy administrators who don't have time to do so
- Present current trends in educational technology and create connections to what students know how to do
- Ensure the activities are directly related to the learning
- Instruct "simple" methods to use technology tools/applications (wikis, online surveys, blogs, etc.) to enhance leadership skills, esp. communicaitng with stakeholders
- Utilize various multi-media formats in instruction- not just Power Point!