When I was elected a commissioner, I had little time for the idea of sending commissioners on these trips. Since then, I have gone on two – one to Seattle and one to Denver, both for NSBA T&L conferences.
Hypocritical? It can look like it. But I did it because I truly believed that I would be able to bring back value for our school board.
I think that I brought back some value. But is it value that cannot be found anywhere else?
In the last 6 months I have attended over a dozen virtual conferences. Webinars and more. I think that I have gleaned even more from these conferences than the physical ones that I have attended.
The one thing that would not have been possible was the time spent outside of the norm to get to know Directors and other commissioners. This has been very valuable, although, I don’t know how I can relate that to an actual real-time benefit to education within our board. But then again, theoretically, if we can all work well together, the theory is that we will work better. But… if I try to find evidence of a benefit, I am at a bit of a loss.
So – should “professional development” budgets be cut? Yes, I think that they should – especially as regards commissioners.