A great day of professional development
with Jamie McKenzie

What makes for a truly great day of professional development?

1. It passes the test of Monday Morning. At the end of the day, teachers walk away with practical ideas that they can use the next morning. Theory is fine, but it must translate into practice. Teachers want to know what to do and how to do it.

2. It stirs the soul, warms the spirit, inspires and awakens. Good teaching is a soulful business but the difficult challenges sometimes conspire to exhaust and frustrate, even deaden the best. Great professional development can refill teachers' tanks and recharge their batteries, calling upon their deepest and best motives.

3. It adheres to the principles of adult learning. We know that a great day should offer many choices of content and method so the learners can match their needs to the opportunities. Choices should be formed through a combination of survey data from staff along with district assessment data about program needs.

4. The presenters model great pedagogy - teaching strategies and tactics that effectively promote learning. They should "walk the talk."

5. The value of the day is carefully assessed. Teachers are asked to reflect upon their learning and the events of the day, doing so through a combination of group dialogue and surveys. Such assessment is then used to shape future offerings.

6. Students are often invited to the table.

7. Students notice shifts in teacher behaviors that promote engagement and deep learning.

8. Teachers go home and report to their families that they enjoyed a truly great day.

Fully vaccinated, I will once again be taking to the skies, flying hither and yon to deliver face-to-face professional development sessions to schools, districts and conferences. After being grounded by the pandemic for more than a year, I am eager to meet once again with educators who value fresh thinking, imagination, questioning and the smart use of technologies.

Bring me to your school or district for one of these full day workshops.

  1. A day of invention -- Synthesis and the making of good new ideas
    What are the best teaching and learning strategies to equip students with the skills to invent new ideas and come up with fresh new ways of doing things? After the pandemic, much will change and inventive thinking will be expected and rewarded.

  2. A full day devoted to the nurturing of students' writing, thinking and reporting. Much of the day will draw from strategies outlined in Jamie's two recent books: The Great Report and Laptop Thinking and Writing.

  3. Questioning 101 -- A day for teachers to develop powerful questioning strategies for themselves while building the questioning capabilities of their students.

    • Great Classroom Questions and Questioning Strategies
    • Equipping Students with Questioning Prowess
    • Organizing Investigations Around Questions of Import
    • Exploring, Discovering, Creating and Reporting
    • Assessing Progress on Questioning

Please contact me at to arrange sessions.


In the current economy, very few schools have money for professional development. With resources being so scarce, every hour of staff learning must be practical and full of impact. It must pass the test of Monday morning - equipping teachers with powerful techniques to improve student results. Better questioning. Stronger inference. Improved comprehension. Persuasive thinking and writing.

Jamie's sessions pass this test. They are exciting because of his dramatic presentation style, but they are also sensible and down-to-earth.

  • School Librarians - Why we still need them!
  • The Great Report
  • The Brilliant Question
  • Teaching students to make sound inferences
  • Making Great Digital Lessons
  • Nurturing original and inventive thinking
  • Questioning 101
  • Fighting Plagiarism
  • Preparing Students for the CCS
  • Image Power: Making Digital Images Roar
  • Skills for this Century
  • Gifted Thinking - Thinking Gifted
  • Lifting the Bar for the Core Standards
  • Reflecting on Reflection
  • Laptop Thinking and Writing
  • Lost and Found - Discovery Learning through Purposeful Wandering
  • eReading: How is reading changing thanks to eBooks and
    how can we improve comprehension with these tools?
  • Is the iPad a Game Changer?
  • Engaging students in making good new ideas. Every student a thinker!
  • Building Powerful Lessons with Digital Resources
  • Replacing Faux Inquiry with Real Inquiry
  • Managing the Laptop Classroom and Program
  • Beyond Cut-and-Paste: Engaging Students in Making Good New Ideas
  • Reading Across a Dozen Literacies
  • Teaching Media Literacy
  • Beating the Tests
  • Reading Between Digital Lines

Contact me at
to arrange a keynote or workshop.