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Back to School Inservice/Training
Old 07-10-2007, 08:41 AM
 
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I know we all go through them. What are the best and worst things about back to school inservice/workshops.

My personal opinion, I wish our district offered more choices. I hate having one training for everyone. I hate training sessions that spend the whole morning giving me data to justify the training, I don't need all those numbers, I need some ideas of how to fix it... those all get crammed into the afternoon. I hate repetitive training we do every year because we have a big turnover in our district. I've heard it... sixteen times!! I hate workshops that do those fun learning style/interest things, but then never tell me how to use them.. what's the point? I know MY learning style and how to teach it.. it's the others I need help with.

I like sessions that present new ideas, that are relevant to my teaching assignment, that are fast paced, that give me ideas and material I can use the next day.

Anyone else?


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workshops
Old 07-10-2007, 09:15 AM
 
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You said it perfectly, yesteach!

I honestly don't mind the inservices if they don't drag them out - just get to the point and quit worrying about "getting our money's worth". If you can tell me what I need to know in 1 hour, why stretch it out into 4?

I would LOVE to be able to pick and choose our inservices!

I also love it when they provide little treats (candy, etc...) on the tables for us to snack on. I don't know why, but that just makes it less painful!
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Work Off Hours
Old 07-10-2007, 09:23 AM
 
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We get to pick at least 12 hours of ours. We have 2 days on the calendar that are called Work Off Days. The kids are out and so are the teachers as long as they have proof of getting 12 outside hours. If not, the teachers used to have to go in on those days. However, now they just dock you those days if you don't go to the workshops.

We can even do them the summer before. It's great b/c my DH is a teacher too and as long as we don't schedule for the same day it saves us 2 days of daycare every year. That's an extra $50 a year and now this year with 2 in daycare it will save us a $100.

As teachers we usually have lots of extra things to go to. It's just nice to have some of it count toward your salary. The only requirement is that it can not be a workshop you attended while on contract.
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choices
Old 07-10-2007, 10:19 AM
 
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Susanteach I agree.

We need more choices in our district, too. We always sit through the same info every year. ughh How about some nice strategy based workshops like, writer's workshop, or reading comprehension. Show us something new and innovative!
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The Best Inservice
Old 07-10-2007, 10:51 AM
 
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The inservice I liked best was when our district asked us to each bring one activity to share. We then broke up into small groups by grade level and took turns presenting our activity. We brought a written copy of instructions and any black copies of patterns or activity pages that went along with what we showed for each teacher to have .At the end of the day we each went home with fifty new activities!

The district didn't have to shell out money to some inspirational presentor or professional speaker. Nobody seemed bored and we were all excited to go try some new ideas.


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Beginning of the year inservice
Old 07-10-2007, 11:03 AM
 
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Our district puts on our beginning of the year inservices.

Like: when they go over Sat, Armt or Dibels scores and we've improved!

Dislike: Boredom...Last year they had a motivational speaker that was sooo boring...several people fell asleep, including my principal....I swear this is true!
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:43 AM
 
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I wish we had more choices! Last year we had a beginning of the year inservice that was sooooo boring! So many people complained about the morning session that the speaker was asked to leave! Thank goodness because I was ready to walk out! The rest was just talking with other teachers. We will see what happens this year!
During the year, for the last two years, we have done what Eydie did. It was great. Each teacher was asked to bring two activities to share. I walked away with many lessons I have actually used!
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the worst
Old 07-10-2007, 12:27 PM
 
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They come just when we need to be in our room. We usually have three days to prepare our room before the kids come back. We almost always have a workshop each day. Sometimes, it is stuff we already know. Maybe they could give us choices at the end of the year and let us do them over the summer or as soon as school ends.
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District Mini conference
Old 07-10-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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Our district tried it last year and we're doing it again. They ask any teachers who have been to workshops to present things that they saw. Our technology department and other areas hold classes. All K-5 teachers from our 6 schools go to one campus. We get to choose which classes we want to go to. They also have vendors come in and give us one seesion time to shop! It is very fast paced because you get to change sessions every 45 minutes and the day goes by very quickly.
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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Best:
- Provide adequate breaks and time to work in the classroom
- Snacks definitely help!
- Present information that we have not heard a million times
- Give ideas that we can use in our classroom
- Explain any changes in policies/expectations

Worst:
In general, I don't like beginning of the year inservices. I feel like so much of them repeat themselves.

The worst inservices are the ones where they waste time making us participate in pointless activities. Like someone said, if it can be done in 1 hour, don't drag it out to 4!
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:22 PM
 
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My back to school "inservice" actually consists of 3 intense weeks of training. The first week is all electives though. I got to chose what I'm doing for that entire week from a list of various workshops and things that are being put on by different principals etc. The other two weeks we do building specfic things, including some time to put together our classrooms and prep by grade levels. I love it because I feel like I get a lot out of it.
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I'm a Trainer and....
Old 07-10-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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I can't tell you how muc help you all have given me for my beginning of the year training/orientation. Although I work in the after school program sector, I'm still responsible for orientating my taff and I believe that all of your point of views about likes and dislikes will help me to have a much more interesting, entertaining and organizes orientation process.

Thank you
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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I like it when they give you little things like highlighters, pencils, etc. I hate to sit through something I've heard a thousand times before though. Last year we had to listen to a speaker talk about mental health awareness, and when we got through, I knew more about the speaker's son who had some problems than I did anything else. I thought I would go MENTAL before I got out of there. It was awful. Not to mention that I really got nothing out of it except contact numbers to call if I needed help, and they could have just given out business cards for that. I also hate to have to do those silly "participation" activities. I'll be quiet and be respectful to whoever is presenting, but PLEASE don't make me have to do something!
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:31 AM
 
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I love the trainings our school does. We have a really small school, so we really get in depth about what we are going to do to improve our school. I always feel so motivated after most of our trainings. I totally agree that ones you cannot use right away, or things that just don't work with the materials you have are USELESS> we have had one or two of those days too.

I start back July 23rd. Hardly any vacation left! eek!
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:12 AM
 
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I hate it when people give you a zillion handouts and say, "I'm not going to read to you, you all know how to read" and then...they DO end up reading from the handouts...eeks!

I also dislike it when we have to sit for hours and don't get a chance to talk to our team/staff about how we could put ideas into practice.

My worst inservice ever: because the district paid for a new email/web program, they were given so many hours of free training. What do you do with free training? You make EVERYONE attend. I had to sit for over 2 hours at an inservice that showed us how to send an email. Now, before you go thinking it was so long ago, it was in 2001. They also explained how to set your signature, etc. Don't you think if someone needed to learn how to send an email they should sign up for a class???

Another pet peeve: when "experts" come to heighten your awareness to a problem, i.e. bullying. Hello, we are educators, we know about the problem, now tell us how to FIX it. We sat for 4 hours listening to this "expert" read from some script, she could not answer our questions and when we asked for clarification on a few points all she had to say was, "It's in the research." ...we never found out WHO conducted that research.

I also like choice, our district has done this several times over the last couple years, for we are all about differentiation!

I try so hard to be open to training, I really do. I want to get better at what I do every year. I follow research, what's new in education, I am a reflective practioner, and attend extra training to learn new things. I know our time could be spent more wisely than having someone read to us for hours or repeat what we already know!
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Inservice
Old 07-11-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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Quote:
I hate it when people give you a zillion handouts and say, "I'm not going to read to you, you all know how to read" and then...they DO end up reading from the handouts...eeks!
I hate that too!

Our beginning of the year inservices are so boring. It's the same thing every year: reviewing our curriculum, droning on and on about The Test and scores, how to report child abuse and homelessness, and other stuff we've heard a million times. Last year I remember I actually fell asleep during one of them. I was sitting in the back, though, so I don't think anyone noticed.
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