At PPHS, we’re always looking for ways to break down barriers, innovate new solutions, and try, and fail, at new things. From doing away with the traditional bell schedule to implementing a learn at your own pace model - we’ve never done things the “traditional” way. So, of course, our PPHS Professional Development model was anything BUT traditional!
Which is how we ended up at the PPHS Unconference. A day where nothing was off-topic and everyone had the opportunity to share their expertise. The day started out like most conferences, breakfast, and networking with colleagues from across the PPHS network. What made networking and chatting with colleagues so valuable was the addition of the name tags announcing everyone’s “special skillset”. These weren’t the traditional name tags you’d see in a teaching conference like, “My name is Matt, ask me about math class” but, “My name is Lauren, ask me about animal rescue” or “ask me about Dungeons and Dragons” - things that on the surface, aren’t related to teaching, but are related to who we are as individuals outside the classroom and the special skills and interests we can bring in.
Before the day officially began, EVERYONE was welcome to sign up for a slot to present and everyone was able to pick and choose what events they wanted to attend - and these weren’t your typical presentations. While many of them were education-themed, such as Special Education 101 or Problem Based Math, there were also presentations including Public Relations 101 or Music Makerspace. The entire PPHS Network was able to choose which sessions to attend and nothing was mandatory. This meant that our team spent time learning from one another, connecting with their counterparts from other campuses, and enjoying their time together, pressure-free.
While professional development was the focus of the day, we also took time to provide some self-care for our busy team! Coaches were able to sign up for chair massages, get custom t-shirts printed on-site, and eat lunch from some of the best food trucks Indianapolis has to offer. At the end of the day, the team was able to share their favorite moments of the day and provide feedback for upcoming professional development sessions.
The PPHS Unconference turned out to be the best way to kick off an amazing school year, and nothing says PPHS like doing something in a way we’ve never done before! What other innovative and new things will we try? Follow us on social media @PurduePolyHS to see!
Published on 7/27/2021