Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trickle down Training?

"As principal of one of the highest poverty schools in the area, Sherlene McDonald knows the value of professional development training for teachers.
School leaders and district leaders, such as principals and superintendents, also benefit from training as that trickles down to the classrooms, she says."     http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/10/professional_development_a_mus.html   October 9, 2012

Really trickle down training?  Coming from industry to teaching I believe in train the trainer, leadership training, and other professional growth things, but come on - trickle down training may be the worst phrase I have every heard.  It sounds like it comes from someone who has a really high opinion about what a curriculum leader, a principal, a director or whatever title you want to use can really accomplish in changing teaching.   In fairness I included the phrase about it being important for teachers to get training but talk is talk - the average school does very little to nothing to protect professional development time and administration is usually the worst offender for chasing big changes.  What we (schools) need is incremental change - we need a 2% continuous improvement attitude!

We really need to step back and realize that to affect student learning we must train the teacher -- relying on trickle down means money spent and little changed.  It is the lessons that the teachers need to work on; so have the principal cover a class, correct a test and make that time for the teacher to make a good lesson. Hold that teacher accountable but give the teacher the tools and time and expectations.

But as a teacher I am unwilling to let a phrase that training an administrator really works.  It most likely means a shift in the pendulum (chasing the next big thing), time wasted chasing a big dream and no real measurable improvement.   We need to stop the idea that we can change overnight and just continually change for the long term.

Continual Improvement is the best for the students today and tomorrow....