Friday, May 27, 2011

Elementary School Teacher planning workshop at Meynaa School

The first session Mr. T had with the Meynaa Primary School teachers was a planning workshop to determine the specific professional development needs of these teachers.

The following foccus question was written on the board:

"What are your training needs that would help you develop as a professional teacher?"

Mr. T explained to the teachers that they were to take a few minutes and reflect on all they do in their classrooms each and every day.  Then, they should think about those areas where they could use some training and write these ideas down on a piece of paper.

Based on the focus question of the planning workshop, the elementary school teachers did their own individual brainstorming of the types of professional development training they would like to receive.  After the individual brainstorming, the teachers worked in pairs to share their ideas and to then write their ideas on half sheets of paper.

Teachers were to write 1) one idea per half sheet, 2) write in BIG letters, 3) using only two to three words.

Mr. T called on the teachers to give him their top three cards for professional development.  These cards he placed randomly on the board.  Once a number of cards were on the board, Mr. T asked the teacher to see if any cards were similar.  Those cards that were addressing similar training needs were placed together in pairs.

As the participating elementary school teachers gave Mr. T more and more of their training needs cards, the pairs soon become groups of three to five cards.  These groups of cards were then placed in rows.

Mr. T reads through each row of ideas for professional development training.  Across the top, a symbol has been placed, to faciliate the adding of more training needs cards from the elementary school teachers.

The final step, before the reflective conversation on this planning workshop, was for Mr. T to read each of the cards in each row.  He asked the teachers to identify the key words that indicated the direction of that row.  Then using those key words, each row could be given a title, as reflected by the top row titles with boxes around them.

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