How can I best organize successful teacher training?

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How can I best organize successful teacher training?

Unread postby Nigel » 25 Apr 2004, 16:07

Dear Lucy,

I've been working in my school for 6 years. A few months ago the head teacher left and I was asked to take his job. I'm doing well with the admin side of things and am confident there. But the teacher development side is much more difficult. I've given a few training sessions, the teachers were very uncooperative and I don't think I did a great job. I suppose it's because they see me as one of them and not as a head teacher. What can I do?

Nigel
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Teacher Training

Unread postby Lucy » 25 Apr 2004, 16:20

Dear Nigel,

You could try talking to the teachers about how you feel and how difficult it is for you. Sometimes being open about your feelings can unblock a lot of the problems. I know this is difficult and you may not feel ready to do it. But do consider it.

As for the teacher training sessions, the best place to start is with what areas the teachers wish to develop. This is the best way to get their cooperation.

You can find out what they want to do in various ways: questionnaire, talking to them directly (individually or as a whole group). During feedback after an observed lesson is also a good time to discuss development.

If you identify common areas for training, you can organise sessions on some of these. However, you shouldn't feel that you have to deliver all the sessions yourself. Firstly, this will take up a lot of your time, so invite some of the teachers to give sessions. Giving them the opportunity to take control of their training is positive from their point of view. It shows that you recognise they have areas of knowledge and appreciate their input. It also gives the teachers a chance to see training sessions from your point of view. It'll give them a chance to understand how much work is involved and how much courage is needed to stand up in front of other teachers. Be sure to attend any sessions given by teachers and to participate fully and positively.

If there is an area that only one teacher wishes to develop, you can guide this person towards reading material. They can then read and try out new ideas and come back to you with their comments and / or questions at a later time. If two or three teachers are interested in the same topic, you can take a similar approach whilst allowing them to work together in a small group. You can see my reply to Bryan for ideas on this.

I'm sure you're doing a good job and I just think time is needed for you and the teachers to adapt to your new role.
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