January Notes

Reflective, Processing or Debriefing question for a training session: How do the skills required in this [game/activity/task] apply to our [class/training/course]? What would you like to remember and possibly try in your own courses? What would you need to change so that it worked for your learners? And then repeat.

———

Heard about but have not tried on a course myself: a group learning journal. Low-tech version: one notebook for the group, participants take turns and write important insights, a-ha!s, questions. Higher-tech: a blog or wiki space with the same idea. Wondering how anonymity can be kept if done online. Thinking…

———

Thinking about (portable) IWBs/Smart Boards/Interactive Boards. What makes them interactive? Attractive? Advertised? What can they do that a projector with a laptop/tablet can’t? Do they help learning, teaching, training? Are we using them for educational reasons, or for ‘business’ reasons? Are we being honest with the students and their parents?

———

What deadlines do you set to the course participants on an intensive course? I am thinking to try these: hard ones (those we can’t change, e.g. Practice Teaching slots); firm ones (important for a certain reason, e.g. Written reflective Papers); floating ones (flexible, such as reading for portfolio). ‘Non-deadline’ tasks?

———

Reminder to self: keep a record of individual participant performance on a course. Can be handwritten, or a soft copy, or shared document online. Written daily, or weekly, or for mid-point assessment, these notes are priceless. Even more so at the end of the course for the final evaluations/ reports.

———

These notes can be on the main course competencies, for example, on Planning, Teaching and Reflecting/Self-Assessment skills, on abilities to work in groups. Have tried this on Google Docs/Drive in the past. Pro: easy access for all. Con: need Internet to access (can you believe that it is not everywhere?)

———

What role do questions play in your training classroom? Who asks them? Who are they addressing? How do you treat the ‘right answer’ idea? What do you do if you have a different, or even opposite opinion, attitude, belief? Is asking (critical) questions a skill, a gift, a necessity? Thoughts?

———

Co-teaching, co-training, co-planning, co-creating… Seems like this prefix ‘co-‘ has a potential to save us from the notorious ‘teacher burnout‘. Have you ever co-trained or co-taught? How did it feel? In fact, training ‘solo’ might be much more challenging experience than the ‘co-‘ time. What are your favorite co-training tips?

———

Guided lesson planning versus Assisted lesson planning: how can a trainer help a participant to become really independent within the limits of an intensive course? How can a mentor promote teacher independence without risking the students’ potential learning too much? Possibly by gradual reduce of scaffolding and maintaining positive regard.

———

In addition to Assisted lesson planning there could also be a term describing being there to answer questions and brainstorm ideas on a future lesson but at the same time being one step away from making the major lesson decisions for a teacher. Learning how to think independently while planning…

———

If D. Eisenhower was a teacher, he might have agreed that in preparing for a lesson ‘plans are useless, but planning is indispensable’. Focus on the process of planning, not the plan/form. Shift thinking into the students and their learning, and how the time can be used to help more.

Taken by my Mom in Dnipro, Ukraine