Consultancy for Teacher Development
This is an excellent article on Teacher Development by David Weston. Sadly it resonates too strongly with our experiences in the teaching profession. As a senior leader it was a constant challenge to find and organise high quality CPD for staff training days and twilight sessions. Organising teacher training, whether it is in-house or externally provided, is a time consuming and thankless task.
However, I do have a confession to make. As I read David Weston’s article on Teacher Development I found myself becoming more and more smug and here is why.
My family and friends will tell you that I like to fix things. It doesn’t really matter what it is. Education is my passion but I am not averse to a bit of soldering and electronics. The problem of quality Teacher Development actually precedes the “Baker Days” but it was brought into sharp relief by the requirement to have five Teacher Development Days every year.
So my smugness comes from my belief that we, at Nexus, have developed a really good solution to the problem. David Weston identifies seven deadly sins: Passivity, Superficiality, Overconfidence, Insularity, Gluttony, Credulity and Behaviourism. We have designed Teacher Development programmes that by-pass all of the above sins.
Passivity, Superficiality and Overconfidence
We can and do run sessions for large groups of teachers but they have to be awake because we use technology to keep them involved. The sessions are designed mainly to inspire and are the precursor to more in-depth Teacher Development.
Our unique coaching model starts with the learning outcomes for a particular lesson or unit of work. In other words, the burning issue of the day. Planning the lesson along side the teacher, integrating the use of technology and then team teaching embeds improvement. In this way the impact of our Teacher Development programme is far from superficial and the teacher must take an active role. Team-teaching with one of our qualified teachers or ASTs provides an objective view of the lesson enabling teachers to accurately target Outstanding Teaching.
Gluttony, Credulity and Behaviourism
Our Teacher Development Programme is mapped carefully to each school’s Development Plan. This gives the work a clear strategic focus and prevents overloading. In real life we call this learning to walk before you try running. Our consultants have no time for any technology that does not directly improve teaching and learning. Outstanding lessons built around Bloom’s or Solo taxonomy where robust research has been carried out forbids us from jumping on the latest bandwagon. The training changes habits behind the scenes. Teachers have access to improved workflows, use data more effectively and make subtle changes to pupil groupings. Some of the changes are obvious to the lesson observer but some will not be discovered until the OFSTED inspector asks about individual pupil progress. The lesson has been constantly responding to pupil feedback, subtly collected using technology. Gifted and Talented pupils have been stretched and less able students have been given specific support.
Our Education consultants and our Technical consultants work in schools all over the country. We work with excellent practitioners and are constantly learning ourselves. We share our knowledge and put people in contact with each other to strengthen Teacher Development networks. Just by being in a school we build a wider education community.
Is your Teacher Development plan guilty? Why not get in contact. We’ll help you overcome the seven deadly sins but we have not found a cure for my smugness.