Using Stories for Professional Development
35 Tales to Promote Reflection and Discussion in Schools
This book offers a selection of stories about teaching, learning, and school life that you can use in a variety of PD formats and settings.
Grouped into four categories—students, teachers, administrators, and parents—these tales offer a powerful entry point for thinking and reflecting on your school environment in a new and meaningful way. Each brief tale is presented to spark a 10–15 minute group discussion that will help educators think more deeply about the complex, human problems they confront on a daily basis. Suggested questions and a brief commentary following each tale can be used to explore the issues embedded in the tale and, thereby, empower staff to generate creative responses to them.
Ditch your "sit and get" professional development and "tap into the wisdom of the ages" by using these powerful tales to give educators the gift of time to think and talk about what it really means to educate hearts and minds.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Connecting the Dots
Chapter 1. Why This Book?
Chapter 2. How to Use This Book?
Chapter 3. Student Tales
Chapter 4. Teacher Tales
Chapter 5. Administrator Tales
Chapter 6. Parent Tales
James Dillon has been an educator for over 40 years and is currently an educational consultant for Measurement Incorporated, which sponsors the Center for Leadership and Bullying Prevention.
"Stories are fantastic points of departure for dialogue around learning, and Jim Dillon’s 35 stories are a gift to anyone who leads professional learning in schools. Anyone in professional learning will find this book to be an indispensable toolkit for meaningful conversation amongst educators." — Jim Knight, Senior Partner of Instructional Coaching Group
"I’ve long been a fan of Jim Dillon’s work, and this book is a great example of why. If you’re looking for a book that will spark deep conversations that focus on how we can create more authentic spaces for our students, then this is the book for you." — Peter M. DeWitt, Author and Consultant
"School leaders know the challenges of ensuring a positive impact of professional development activities. Obviously, hours spent listening to a lecture are unlikely to achieve positive change. James Dillon's approach of using stories for professional development presents a research-based approach that holds much greater potential for success." — Nancy Willard, Director of Embrace Civility in the Digital Age, and author of Engage Students to Embrace Civility
"Teachers are constantly committed to and in conflict with the tensions of what they must do professionally and personally in terms of their life with students and colleagues and the tangential demands of instruction and curriculum. And too often they are alone in dealing with those tensions. The author, through decades of experience in classrooms and schools takes us, through stories, to those school-places (classrooms, hallways, lunch rooms, and buses etc.) where school-life happens. We get opportunities to explore real-life school experiences such as bullying, teasing, competition, stealing, school culture etc., and to juxtapose them with our own. Through questions and lenses, the author provides the opportunity for us to deal with those situations on our own or with colleagues. We are encouraged to see the possibilities in those potholes...we have optimisms and options for our own efforts. The vignettes push us towards reality and wisdom. We are reminded and we learn about the complex and unpredictable life of a teacher. This text is for students, parents, novice teachers, experienced teachers and administrators...anyone interested in making a difference in the life and learning chances of students." — Barrie Bennett, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, Canada