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Teaching teachers?
Old 12-28-2011, 04:26 PM
 
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Does anyone else get completely PETRIFIED when you have to get up in front of teachers and teach them? I mean, I have no problem teaching the children. They seem at least a bit interested in me (even if I know they could care less about it some days) .

The teachers, that's another story! Tuesday we have a workday. The principal has designated that I'm training them on Write from the Beginning and Beyond. I've had more than one negative comment about me "taking" their work day to train them. They seem to forget, I'm getting NO work day at all. In fact, I'm giving up part of my vacation to get it all ready for them. I'm going in tomorrow to make sure I get my classroom ready and things copied before the children come back.

Just didn't know if anyone else deals with this from teachers when they have to train them......


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Old 12-28-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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Yes, and last year I made public speaking one of my growth goals. It has changed my ability and confidence as an educator. I still quake inside a little but now am able to speak up at staff meetings more than I ever would before.
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Yeah, I hate it.
Old 12-28-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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Our teachers (wonderful people, but...) don't really respect when their colleagues are asked to teach them. I've had to serve on some committees lately where we are asked to go to workshops and come back to share with the staff. I just feel like they really don't want to hear what I have to say in that setting. I prefer to teach children.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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Yes!! I have always hated it-- I used to teach workshops for my district, and it just scared me!!
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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I used to hate it, but now it's my job. I will say I have run into some VERY rude teachers. I bet those are the same ones that would have a cow if Johnny even fidgeted in his seat for 5 seconds.

When I know teachers are not happy to have me there I offer some kind of incentive to motivate them. One thing I do is talk about focusing on the training and that if there are minimal sidebars we will be able to get through the content and might get done a little early. Some get it while others are too thick to care! But at least I've put it out there for them if they want it!


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What they don't realize is....
Old 12-28-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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I could have made their life even MORE miserable....

The class was supposed to be for 6 hours.....

I broke it down into 2 hours, for 3 different grade level groupings. Therefore, I didn't ruin their entire day. As always, they don't see the bright spot in this though.

I am making their day a little better though. I'm bringing homemade food for them and have already bribed them with the fact that if they get in there, sit down, listen and follow directions we might even get done sooner! Hopefully that will work!
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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I teach teachers as a side job...and what I have learned over the last 9 years is that you CAN'T be an expert in your own backyard! Yes, my district wanted/s me to teach our own staff...but you're right, the staff members seem to resent you as a presenter.

What I love is going to other districts...they give you WAY more respect.....NOT ALL...like on poster said, some are SO rude....but the majority are cool!

Good luck! Oh, candy on the table, and a 'coke for a comment' type thing works wonders too!

Good luck! Knock'em alive!
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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I have taught some workshops, and I was terrified at first. It did get better though. I suppose it helped that mine was optional, so teachers who were there chose to be there. Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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I did it for several years and prefer teaching children. I think I still suffer from mild shock at the rude treatment and behavior of some teachers. A few teachers can spoil an experience with a large staff. It was tough trying to ignore the bully behavior.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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Most of the time I am confident and it does not bother me in the least.

A few years ago, we were having some employee issues. As the union president, I needed to get up in front of them and basically tell them to begin respecting their peers and GROW UP! Now, that took a bit more tact and fancy walking than I am used to.


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tie it to performance pay
Old 12-29-2011, 04:55 AM
 
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I would only present if I was forced to. I have done that in the past and my internal monologue was screaming at their bad behavior. Sidebar conversations, texting, etc. drove me crazy. Maybe we should pay teachers according to their ability to behave at meetings and trainings? That could be easily monitored! Cell phone texting or Angry Birds? 10% pay cut. Each sidebar conversation will cost you $50.
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Love it.... I'm trying to think of something.
Old 12-29-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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I do use the smarty pants in my classroom.....don't think I'm not afraid to use them in my class with the teachers!

We'll see how it goes! Who cares! Whats the worst that could happen?
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I have taught other
Old 12-29-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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teachers but only newly hired ones for our district.

Administration has asked me to present during inservice days but I declined. I have seen my colleagues in these situations and it isn't pretty.

IMO, I think that districts that rely on their own teachers to teach each other put everyone in a bad position. Some of the people chosen to present are not viewed as master teachers and therefore do not command the respect of their peers. I am not saying this is right or wrong....it is just the way it is.

CP has an excellent point. It is difficult to be accepted as an expert by people you work with everyday.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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I'm with Chickpea. Even though admin wants us to train each other, I don't like the idea. I don't necessarily want to listen to coworkers who are touted as 'experts' and I don't want to act like I'm one either.

I feel the same way about people who are teachers becoming administrators in our district.

Although, I do try to at least be polite while they're talking . . . .
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:00 AM
 
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I've been on both sides of the issue.

As teachers, we need to know that you're not going to waste our time. Your information will be relevant and I'll be able to use it immediately. I do not want to sit through a meeting that is not relevant for me. For example, a K-3 grade lesson is useless to me.

As a presenter, I need to make sure teachers are involved and interested. Norms are a must for a successful meeting. Buy in is necessary. I need their input, I make it fun, hands-on is necessary, moving and talking is a must.
Is it hard? Yes. Is it doable? Yes.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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I agree 100% with the poster immediately above me. I, too, have been on both sides.

A lot of districts set teachers up for failure in these situations. The reason is that the material to be presented is often BS policy or flavor-of-the-week pedagogy that has trickled down because the district says, "This is what we are doing this year!" It's irritating having to sit through a presentation on teaching that's based on pedagogy devised by someone who's been out of the classroom for 20 years. It's equally irritating having to give such a presentation and pretend to buy into it. It's embarrassing for all involved when teachers stand up and spout policy or pedagogy to their peers that everyone in the room, including the presenter, knows is crap. So before agreeing to do a presentation, I always make sure it's actually something important and useful... I never agree to deliver the "party line" as a Trojan horse to people I like and have to work with.

Assuming the material is actually something relevant and interesting to teachers, there are a few DOs and DON'Ts I wish all presenters would observe:

1. DO have a sense of humor. Tell jokes. Be funny and engaging.

2. DON'T read to me. I detest presentations that consist of the presenter reading off powerpoint slides or handouts. Never read me something I could read myself. If it's something than needs to be read, then send it to me in an e-mail and skip the seminar.

3. DO be self-effacing. Be the colleague at the front who got picked to disseminate information, not the "expert" who knows more than I do.

4. DON'T show off to impress the principal or superintendent with your presentation. I'm not your guinea pig or a prop to help you advance in your career.

5. DON'T drag things out because you've been told you have to fill a certain amount of time. If someone from above told you you HAVE to keep us there for three hours, tell him or her where to stick it (politely).

6. DON'T treat me like a child. I am an adult. I have no interest in doing a RED LIGHT/GREEN LIGHT or THUMBS UP/THUMBS DOWN activity. I will not do a THINK/PAIR/SHARE. Do not give me anything involving chart paper (placemat activities, etc.). I do not want "ice breakers" or "randomizers." I will not participate in a "find someone who..." activity, and I am absolutely NOT interested in getting out of my seat to "work with someone I have not worked with before." I'm your colleague, not your student. Present your information and get on with it.
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Angelo....
Old 12-30-2011, 05:12 PM
 
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Don't know if you've heard of the program....

but it's the second state of Thinking Map training. It's using Thinking Maps to teach writing. So, it can be very useful in the classroom, if the teachers will listen to HOW they can implement it. I've done a LOT of the grunt work of how they can use the items in their classroom. They simply have to come to my classroom and get the folders and teach the lesson.

The only one I'm going to "argue" with you on is #6..... and only because if we don't do the think/pair/share, I won't be able to get them out in under 2 hours....

Hopefully, everyone will come in and find the information interesting enough to listen. I'm not going to bet on it, but I'm doing what I was trained to do. This is not something from the district. This was somethign my principal sent me to do as part of our school improvement plan.
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Should be Okay
Old 12-30-2011, 06:41 PM
 
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My wife's an elementary teacher, and she speaks very highly of that program, so it sounds like it should be a winner.

As far as the think/pair/share in concerned, you get some adults who buy in and some who don't. If you take volunteers, you should be okay. Just don't be surprised if you get some who are off task.

Sorry if I didn't mention it in the previous post, but GOOD LUCK! I'm sure you'll do fine, and kudos to you for spending your holiday working on it.
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Thanks.... I'm bribing them with chocolate
Old 12-30-2011, 07:04 PM
 
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and giving away prizes (purchased with my own money). I figure if I make it exciting to them, and have a door prize it might even make it more exciting. I definitely cut down a bit on the content, so that I don't take their entire day away.

I'm not making them share out load with the think/pair/share (just among their group) so that should make it a bit better. I know I'll have the select few who will be off task. The only thing that might make that a bit better is, there will be an administrator at each of my sessions (I am having 3).

Thanks for the good luck... definitely nervous! Like I said, since I'm only a 4th year teacher this is a pretty big deal to me and I'm pretty passionate about the content.
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Yea Right
Old 01-14-2012, 05:46 AM
 
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I was asked to present at a different district for one and a half hours one afternoon. I put in a lot of time to prepare a good presentation and handouts that were useful. However, when you are facing a small group of teachers who DO NOT WANT TO BE THERE and have ALREADY MADE THEIR MIND UP it is nearly impossible to get them to buy into what you are trying to share. Their evaluations were nasty and my respect for them went far below zero. While they would not open their arms to having me present again, I have the satisfaction knowing that I will not do any professional development for them - no matter what it is.
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that's sad
Old 01-14-2012, 07:27 AM
 
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Sounds like these teachers are like little kids. Sure, I've been to presentations where I didn't "want to be there", but I would like to think that I try to show the presenter the respect by at least listening to what they are saying. I have not had to present to a teacher audience before ( don't want to either!) but it's not a far stretch to put yourself in their shoes! Scary.
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