Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these [teachers] from the swift completion of their [PD]. You may be thinking of mail couriers, but this motto is also one used by an innovative technology and instructional coach in Iowa, who sees bad weather as a great opportunity to learn in a fun way.

Though teachers are often expected to make learning fun and engaging for their students, too often these same teachers are not given the same exciting opportunities for PD.

But Rachel Langenhorst, K-12 Technology Integrationist and Instructional Coach in Rock Valley, IA, is setting out to change that. Langenhorst, who was interviewed on Education Talk Radio for edWeb.net‘s monthly show by Program Host Larry Jacobs, talked about how her district recently held a PJ PD Day during an unexpected snow storm.

Talking to both Jacobs and Lisa Schmucki, edWeb founder, Langenhorst said the teacher-leadership team in Rock Valley had already planned for a full day of professional development, but had to quickly rethink their plans when the forecast called for a snowstorm. “Our days are very valuable…we didn’t want that to go to waste. We wanted to make sure we could use our time wisely,” she said.

A Rock Valley teacher participating PJ PD Day.

According to Langenhorst, her district team meets frequently to discuss PD plans, and during a past meeting the idea of a pajama PD day was brought up. However, this was something that required just the right opportunity to implement.

The day before the storm, the idea was reintroduced. With approval from the superintendent and a lot of re-working the next day’s plans, the pajama PD day was quickly put together.

(Next page: How Rock Valley managed to pull off their PJ PD day)