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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by saluki, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    It's that time of year again when everyone gets "professionally developed"
    What are the new ideas which you are being asked to implement?
    Which ones will be out of fashion by next June?
    What is your daftest/most mind-boggling PDD experience?
    I was thinking the other day about listening to someone telling us how to manage behavior. She was all bright eyed and bushy tailed and announced "I've been doing a degree!" We were expected to be impressed and say "Ooh aren't you clever?"
    It was a light-bulb moment when we realized that the person who had been lecturing us on behavior management and conducting official lesson observations, together with feedback and improvement targets wasn't even a teacher. Hadn't got a degree. Hadn't got a PGCE. Had never taught a class in their life.
  2. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Oh that resonates! Try a Senco who at some stage acquired the title "Behaviour Manager!" Pretty priceless really as having left the one thing they were reasonably competent at (taking weaker kids for 10/15 mins daily for reading practice on a 1 to 1) they made sure they did nearly no teaching (One year - am not sure how they copped for this but got give a year 9 PHSE class but made sure they allocated 2 TAs to be in the room with them...not that there were any statemented kids in there ! ) So a group of TAs would be allocated the challenging kids sent to a 'support base' whilst the behaviour manager sat in an office a lil distance away composing brightly coloured sheets of 'info' as to info on referred kids (usually copied and pasted most of the same guff week by week) So the lowest paid people in the school (bar lunch time staff) working with the most challenging kids and this 'manager' paid circa £50K!
  3. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    These "experts" who are paid an astonishing amount of money to come and pontificate at staff can be worth it, but can often be very poor.
    My personal high point was a man (not a teacher) hired some years ago to tell staff how to make lessons interesting. This was to be achieved by getting students involved and by not talking for too long. Avoid lengthy unnecessary powerpoints. Open questions were also a must. The man told us how to suck eggs for THREE HOURS non-stop. He did not get us involved. He asked no questions (open or closed). His powerpoint consisted of over 100 slides with close text on them, which we could not read. He invited no responses from staff. He gave us handouts which were not relevant to what he was talking about and then told us there were errors in them.
    He was paid about £600 for half a day.

    I am in the wrong job...
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    LOL..sorry I couldnt help it.
    ATfan, agathamorse and mothorchid like this.
  5. Easyasabc

    Easyasabc Occasional commenter

    Were they a headteacher or Ofsted inspector? Lol Couldn't help it
    Mrsmumbles, ATfan and saluki like this.
  6. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    My best one was someone who admitted he didnt bother with Powrpoint and got us doing basic things like introducing ourselves and hobbies to colleagues. Given its surprising how little most of us know about the people we work with it was really interesting and actually the most useful afternoon of training ever!
    pepper5, Mrsmumbles, science1 and 6 others like this.
  7. Easyasabc

    Easyasabc Occasional commenter

    The daftest 'Growth mindset' several yrs past. We were told to stop being so negative about what the school couldn't do. On being asked to think outside the box every area in the school then wrote down a Growth Development Plan of what we wanted to achieve. The Growth Mindset Training took one whole day and three further sessions to finalise our plans.

    Needless to say no one achieved their plan. Why? Because Growth Mindset had been a complete waste of school money and sold the school false hope. The outcome? Be realistic.
    JohnJCazorla, Gsr25, pepper5 and 3 others like this.
  8. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    My worst experience was when my colleagues and I were psychoanalysed for 7 hours during a CPD session on supporting students with mental health issues. I am a Psychology Teacher and one of my colleagues was completing her PHD in a psychological subject. E.g. When one manager left the room to go to the toilet, she commented allowed that because she is used to working with 'disturbed' young people, she always wonders why someone really decides to leave the room to go to the toilet at that particular moment. my colleague left early because the woman said that she was ill and all of the managers who were present collectively complained to SLT. My Psychology colleague and I later found out that she was not registered with the British Psychological Society and her Doctorate was in Archeology (although she was registered with the British Counselling Association) and was therefore not qualified to do what she did.

    I have since completed the Mental Health First Aid Certificate which was FAR more useful!
  9. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Card sorts..... need I say more ?
  10. FrauRussell

    FrauRussell New commenter

    As part of a "well-being" session, we were told to give each other a shoulder massage to help us relax. I ended with a migraine and shoulder pain as my well-meaning partner was a bit heavy-handed. This was a few years back: hopefully it would now be recognised you need to know what you are doing ...
  11. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I once didn't get a job I interviewed for because the head felt I didn't have a growth mindset. To be honest, I wasn't too offended because she's not wrong. I don't. Don't get me wrong - I don't have a closed mindset but I also think change takes a bit more than positivity on its own.

    It also concerns me that (as far as I'm aware and when I was last reading around the issue a while back but happy to be corrected), nobody has managed to reproduce the results of Dweck's study. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer evidence-based practice.

    What ever do you mean? Card sorts are entirely fun, effective and useful with absolutely zero downsides and we should all be using them to revolutionise our practice. :rolleyes:

    Not. They take a bloody age to make and the kids lose them and what a faff!

    I do always begrudgingly have quite a bit of respect for the trainers who do them on actual card, laminated and use different colours to ensure they end up back in the right package though.

    And if the package is a plastic zippy bag with a number stuck to the front to demonstrate how many cards must find their way back in, rather than a scruffy envelope, my newfound respect goes through the roof. :D
  12. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    @Piscean1 I’m a Psychology Teacher and I also found take the growth mindset stuff with a pinch of salt as research is mixed. It’s one of those ideas which is promising but corrupted and overegged by clueless education ‘managers’ and ‘experts’ who have no idea how the social sciences work but are happy to exaggerate social research findings to make money.
    JohnJCazorla, Easyasabc and Piscean1 like this.
  13. powerpointdave

    powerpointdave New commenter

    Once attended brain gym inset. The trainer started by curling up in a ball on the floor and rocking and rolling about. I burst out laughing and others didn’t know where to look. A morning of utter twaddle! Still, better than a stack of marking!
  14. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    But there she is in front of you lot being paid an exorbitant daily fee to teach you how to suck eggs! Sounds like a good job to me - spouting a lot of official sounding bulls*it and then walking away to cash the cheque and the added bonus that nobody will ever check up as to whether anything they said or did had any effect on your practice!
  15. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    But it looks good when Ofsted ask what CPD the staff had had that year. Anyway, the SLT I've worked under would happily fork out £600 so they didn't have to put on CPD themselves and if it's ****, as this evidently was then they can always blame the provider. It's an SLT win win!
  16. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    From what you've described I'd rather have had the marking!
    jlishman2158, ATfan and agathamorse like this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I have a soft spot for 'teacher led learning communities' - a bog in Northern Ireland.

    Basically, you photocopy a bunch of articles, give them out to teachers, who then read them and try to implement these strategies in their classroom. At the end of the year, you can do a TeachMeet where people give in their findings - basically that these ideas worked a bit, but only a bit. If at all.

    There is no better way of saying 'fook off and do your own CPD.'
  18. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Getting massaged by a colleague would NOT be relaxing. Who in their right mind would think that it would.
  19. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I remember when we were being trained up for the new National Curriculum back in the 80s. Perhaps colleagues will remember the folders of attainment targets and paperwork for each subject that stretched the length of an office shelf. In science there were 17 attainment targets.

    In one memorable training session, the levels within each attainment target had been cut up so that each level was on a separate piece of paper. It was our job in groups to arrange the levels in the correct order. It took us about 45 minutes to agree an order after much discussion and debate and when the correct order was revealed we'd got it wrong anyway. I've often wondered what the point of the exercise was apart from filling time.
  20. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    One of the most pointless bits of CPD I did was when SLT announced that we all had to visit other schools for half a day in the coming year and report back on any tips and new ideas we picked up. So we all dutifully contacted other schools (no one on SLT had bothered to arrange any placements on our behalf) arranged our visits (during valuable PPA time of course) and off we went for half a day. We were chased up to make sure we'd done our visit and submitted our reports and then...nothing. The whole exercise was never mentioned again, discussed in a meeting or new ideas or methods reported back to all staff. Still, I supposed it ticked the Ofsted box.

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