Preparing a visit that balances content and strategies [...] »


Teacher on professional development trip, Chris Preperato, Creating a learning experience that meets the group's needs [...] »




Suzannah Niepold: Follow-up is the key to any good professional development experience.

Callie Hawkins: Leaving a week like this—a week in DC—you're leaving on a high. And it's how to maintain that high.

Heather Paisley-Jones: Part of their assignment when they're here is to come up with a lesson or technique that they're going to use in their classroom.

Courtney Speaker: It's something that they've created and have taken ownership of, as opposed to something that we've sent them in a package that they've never seen before.

Callie Hawkins: And then we ask that they send us that lesson plan back. Send us a video of them teaching that lesson in the classroom. Send us feedback from their students.

[Classroom example]

Lara Marks Finder: What can we take back? What of this is relevant? Is there a way to recreate what we're doing here back in the classroom? Do these museums have any kind of videoconferencing or webinar type things where we might be able to bring the museum to our students?

Briana Zavadil White: After a group has left, we of course want to continue the conversation.

Stephen Wesson: We really want our professional development encounters to be the beginning of a relationship.

Maggie Crawford: We always encourage people to contact us, that's what we're there for.

Talia Mosconi: We're always happy to open up our archives and share information that they might need in terms of resources.

Maggie Crawford: So if you're having problems implementing something or if you've forgotten something, you don't know where it is, always call us. When we offer, we actually do mean it.

Suzannah Niepold: We don't want to really say goodbye when you walk out the door; we’re there for you for as long as you need us.

Sustaining the enthusiasm after a professional development trip is crucial to the trip's success. Once a group returns, the experience should not end, but grow. It is a time to create learning communities that foster the development of activities and lessons that help bring the experience into the classroom.