I delivered an inset, to motivate and inspire our teachers/TAs. Our teaching profile is currently hovering around49% good or better; I needed to build on recent positivity to give staff the extra nudge to get us over 50%, tipping point. I also launched a new collaborative, non-judgemental system of planning/observing, based on ‘Triads’ which I rebranded ‘Quads’, mapping TAs to each group. They are teaching gangs, supportive clubs, positive mobs.
I love running inset &CPD. I’ve done it for years but never before had I delivered a whole day to a staff body who were so openly divided over their view of me. You see 49% of my staff support,thank,appreciate me, whilst others associate me with difficult conversations,a firm approach to consistency, marking and quality teaching and a small number with formal support.
I have never planned a day so thoroughly, thought so carefully about resources, activities, phrases I would use. I couldn’t sleep, often on the ipad or skype until the early hours. I felt like I was a lamb to the slaughter, opening myself up to a whole lot of hate and criticism. Some wanted me to fail. It was bad.
The day was fab- better than expected. I felt the buzz, bribed them and involved other (popular) staff in the delivery.
Afterwards, I felt relief. I also felt I needed to build on the momentum and overwhelming response. I felt grateful to my T&L team who put up with my obsessing over details, delegating jobs and 'rehearsing' for the week(s) before. Two of my T&L team cried with positive emotions on the day- so something must have been right.
It was a resounding success. Got some of the most positive evaluation forms the school has had for training- no mean feat as it was entirely internally led. I was overwhelmed by emails of gratitude and tweets of thanks. Staff reflected on their practice honestly and openly. The positive of being an in house training meant I had insight into every person present @ASTsupportAAli would’ve been impressed by my differentiation and inclusion! Teachers can be the toughest audience! The best bits were the quads- some even branded themselves, a video of the kids saying thanks, tips led by my TDs. The hardest bit was the afternoon session; the graveyard shift. I did the noble thing and let them go 15 minutes early.
What helped? Knowing staff, pace, breakfast, coffee, biscuits, lunch, carefully planned quads, my TDs, the ‘T&L Bidding Battle’ and references to Roberts& Kidd’s works- amongst others.
Hinderances? Preconceptions, that some staff came along with, attitudes of a couple towards me, the refusal to engage from a vvv small minority, technology failure. I was also very tired as had taken staff to #TMSOTON and dinner the night before.
I was so prepared (read obsessive) that logistically and planning wise it was pretty good. The tasks worked. The only thing I'd tweak would be to shuffle the activities, to do more ‘fun stuff’ after lunch. With greater notice I'd have booked a keynote speaker to captivate our staff with their wit, charisma and charm.
I changed the focus/dates of our CPD& twilights. I have given staff more time planning. I have booked two inspiring speakers to do my follow up day, building momentum, revisiting priorities.
I need to look at logistics& plan a drop down day, to free up staff to work with these speakers.