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Staff training sessions from which you have come away thinking ***?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Jolly_Roger15, May 15, 2020.

  1. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    To start the ball rolling, I remember us looking at each other slack jawed when we were introduced to the benefits of: Brain Gym, VAK Learning, Edward de Bono's 'Hats Many Colours', and AfL.
    ridleyrumpus, a1976, steely1 and 2 others like this.
  2. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy Occasional commenter

    Nearly every 'CPD' session I have ever sat through has been a waste of my time. I do recall the science dept on mass being told very firmly not to comment on brain gym. That was hilarious.
  3. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Our science department felt the same when the supposed 'expert' advocated students holding water in their mouths to hydrate their brains!
  4. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy Occasional commenter

    # muffled swearing #
    maggie m likes this.
  5. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    The 200 slide "How to be an outstanding teacher" powerpoint where every single word was read out by someone who sounded like and looked like Penfold from Dangermouse. Still angry, thinking about the 4 hours of my life wasted on this.
  6. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Then there is the classic how ALIS works presentation where every third or fourth word was punctuated by a pneumatic drill. I left the presentation 3 hours later thinking ALIS, What the f@#k is ALIS?
  7. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    The training session that was just a pub quiz. Why?
    ridleyrumpus likes this.
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    And the training session given by a new slt member who had been teaching just a couple of years to give me tips as to how I could reduce my workload. I had been teaching over 35years. Top tip. Get them to hand in ex books open at the place you will start marking. So I had never come across that one before?
  9. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    I had an obs with slt member who was very keen on traffic lights. Class of 22 year 8 boys. I decided to use the red green and yellow catering cups she advocated in inset. Very difficult content. Boys were very good but when I gave out the 66 cups they went a big crazy for a few seconds. Cups on noses, ears, pretending they were boobs etc. Slt person expressed concern. Suggested I "establish routines with cups." What slt person did not see was when the small boy who was asked to collect the 66 cups stacked them all up and carried them in such a way in front of him as as to suggest he had a very large w**ly.
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I recall learning about the "n Deeps" (I can't recall what number n represents) and a highly respected Head of Year commenting afterwards that we were in deep do-da, although that was not the exact word she used. But also several sessions when we were told how we had to make our lessons interactive and exciting by somebody droning monotonously to a typical "death by PowerPoint" presentation.
  11. teacher_new81

    teacher_new81 New commenter

    The CPD on "asthma" where we were told....and please hold your breath as I tell you what I learned....


    I literally gasped so hard I used my inhaler.
  12. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

  13. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    I know its not the done thing on here to be positive about any training we’ve had (no problem with that, all a bit of fun), but I’ve used De Bono’s 6 Hats a lot. It works well for me.

    Part of the problem is that some training is delivered by people who barely understand it and are reading a script produced by the training company.

    I was talking to a woman who presented the Hattie Visible Learning stuff. I don’t know who she was working for, but she was saying that they had to pretty much stick to prescribed content. This came about because we asked her some tricky questions and she couldn’t answer them.

    Unfortunately, a lot of my colleagues enjoyed her discomfort because she came across as a pompous know-all. Not a good look.

    We’ve had a lot of training like this. It’s a shame because it taints our attitude to CPD.

    For a profession that encourages other people to learn, we aren’t always very keen on it ourselves. Embarrassing?

    But as for Brain Gym ... heh heh

    Oh, and the 60 slide ppt on ‘The 5 biggest mistakes teachers make using PowerPoint’. That went down well on a hot July day!
    ridleyrumpus, a1976, jomaimai and 2 others like this.
  14. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @simonCOAL: You have some good points, there. Our perceptions of any merit a product might have is coloured by the effectiveness of the person trying to sell it to us. Very often, the 'expert' propounding some educational theory, at staff training sessions, is nothing more than a salesman, trying to peddle books, and software packages. That he or she seems to have no deeper understanding of, and belief in what they are telling you, swiftly engenders scepticism, and then derision, in their target audience.

    I agree with you that many exponents of anything have a 'do as I preach, not as I do' attitude. It was ever thus. At TTC, i remember being lectured for half a morning on the subject of 'attention span'. 'The attention span of even an intelligent, well-motivated person is only about twenty minutes', we were told, for ninety minutes.
    tenpast7, ridleyrumpus and jomaimai like this.
  15. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    We had to learn about our "inner chimps" once.

    It would be quicker to list the training sessions that haven't come away from thinking *******
    madcatlady and Piranha like this.
  16. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Then there is the effective time management course where the instructor arrived late and overran the course by an hour. Classic, do as I say - not as I do.
    ridleyrumpus, jomaimai and Ivanhoe like this.
  17. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy Occasional commenter

    Not so, I did have a useful training experience once. In 20 years. Mostly because the speaker was clever, interested and invested in their subject and not talking total codswallop.
    As for the thinking hats, really?! Useful?! How? When? For what? It's peak bullsh1t.
  18. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Rather a risky suggestion on the part of the speaker, considering what chimps get up to, in public, :eek:
  19. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    We had an INSET on how to teach boys. Trainer assumed school was Mixed Sex. Whole day - all examples for mixed classes, Statistics about how girls sneakily manage to do well..

    Incredibly pompous...

    He was making wild assertions and backtracking furiously when questioned.

    “I didn’t say that”

    “Yes you did , and I quote...”

    “I didn’t say that, researchers did ...”

    Final hour how to deal with an alpha male. “They’re always male...You establish eye contact, and you maintain Eye contact...until they give in...”

    Meanwhile, he’s looking ME in the eye. All 4 foot 11 of me, terrified of eye contact as a rule, . I had to really steel myself to maintain eye contact with him. For the first time ever I think I managed it, he looked away first..

    Me, alpha male ?!!!

    Not to mention it undermined his whole argument singling out a very quietly spoken woman...

    The school must have spent a fortune on him..He introduced himself by saying “ You’re all wondering where you’ve seen me before. I was on Panorama a few weeks ago setting out why “The future is female”....The resources he gave us to use were of primary school quality, “5 fun facts about.... “ really raises boys GCSE results apparently. He assumed our pass rate, which was about 10 points higher than he assumed, and surely not very difficult to find out...

    We’re in the wrong job.!
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
    install likes this.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    We had one years ago - growth mindset. We all wrote down just one thing the school might do to change its thinking.

    Needless to say - all the ideas were binned once we saw the Whole School Plan.

    And all the teachers who said we wouldn’t be listened to were proven to be right

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