Bottom-up training the way to go?
The residential training for Glow, organised by LTS, sounds like a huge task to organise (for over 600 mentors), and also seems very top-down. Wouldn’t it be great to have people use an online spreadsheet to choose the date that suits them best, and let the bottom-up approach lead the training in the same way it should lead the adoption of Glow as a whole? I was really impressed by the online spreadsheet menu David set up for our Goat dinner.
At least this way responsibility for class cover and the choosing of dates which least affect learners (I’d want to be at school for last minute exam nerves of my students, not at a residential training course) would be with the teaching professional. Would it make the management of training easier in general if Continuing Professional Development (CPD) was chosen this way all year round? The professional (i.e. the teacher) makes a decision that this is something that will make their teaching better, (s)he makes the moves to get funding from the school and chooses the dates of training from an online spreadsheet or database.
Any other member of staff can see who’s doing what and share expertise – or a car to get there. Importantly, any member of staff can see what skills are already in the school – and which are not – and justify their CPD choice to management. They might also abandon their CPD realising that the skills are already there in the school and available for tapping into. The senior management, importantly, no longer have a training cartel: every teaching professional can make an informed decision and bid for support, based upon the school’s development profile.
Is this pie in the sky or a viable way of sharing expertise, avoiding duplication and avoiding disappointment? Makes me think back to “small change” instead of “large change”. Well, in East Lothian we are going to have just this thing - an online database where you can view skills and submit requests for your desired training. You can also pop along to "small change" type professional development workshops being held by colleagues during lunch hours or after school. I can't wait for Karen to let us know when this Learning Management System (LMS) is up and running. As far as I know, it's just round the corner.