Mahtomedi, MN - Spring 2018
Problem: During the school year staff do not have adequate time to explore new ideas, skills, or techniques and implement them. Some of this can be done with curriculum writing stipends, but this system is limited.
Idea: Provide time for staff to explore new ideas, skills, or techniques and implement them with micro-sabbaticals. Staff could apply for a two to four week micro-sabbatical to give them time to explore an interest or need area that will benefit students, staff, or the district as a whole, and the time to determine implementation.
Project Update: A group of eight teachers and administrators gathered to use Human Centered Design to examine different ways to provide staff with real-time professional development. As the process unfolded, it became clear that we were solving a summer curriculum writing problem and not a professional development problem. As we defined the issue more thoroughly and worked to create ideas around that sharper definition we arrived at a solution that provides time for teachers to explore a passion, develop new learning, and ultimately provide an immediate, positive impact for their students. Our first group completed their micro-sabbaticals in May and with some minor adjustments, it will continue in 2018-19.