During this sharing period participants will learn about each other, their similarities and differences, and the PD leader may also gain an indication of what individuals’ will drivers may be. (It should be noted during the whole group debriefing afterwards that in this activity the same objects may be chosen for very different reasons and that what someone chooses as an object contrary to their personality is just as revealing as something that complies with who they are. Even team members who are familiar with one another might also learn new things about their colleagues from this activity. If you are working in a school where the teachers all know one another an alternate way to direct this activity is to ask team members to select the objects not for themselves but for a colleague based on their perceptions of that person whom they already know. In debriefing this activity, participants will be interested to discuss how well they know each other, and perhaps discuss the image we project to others. It is a way to further build a sense of community.
In listening to teachers’ conversations, you will be able to learn a great deal about the what motivates teachers or what Robyn Jackson calls will drivers.
For example, you will hear some teachers talk about relationships and connections with others being the most interesting thing about teaching ELA. These teachers are driven to nurture a sense of belonging.
Others will talk about the pleasure of being able to determine the curriculum. These people are driven to develop a sense of autonomy.
Listening for the clues that suggest the will drivers of your participants will assist you in working with those individuals during your PD, as you learn to tailor your communication with them based on what they find motivating.
After sufficient time is given for teams to talk and read their Quickwrites, call the larger group together and invite participants to share what they learned from the activity. Points that emerge might include the following: sharing the quickwrites allows team members to appreciate the people they knew in the group, make connections with some they might otherwise not have connected with, appreciate the uniqueness of each team member, act as a reminder of an aspect of teaching that they may see in a renewed light. If some of these points do not emerge, they can be asked in the form of questions later. (e.g., Did the activity also allow you make some connections?)