A Teacher’s View On Our Online Courses
And What It Means For You….
I spoke to a teacher yesterday who has been working her way through Preventing the Numeracy Gap: Foundation Year and the Trusting the Count courses. Her comments included not just that you can self-pace but that you can go back in any time you like to review or revisit something.
She said unlike face-to-face one-day professional development, no matter how good your notes from the day might be, it takes several trials of activities and suggestions in the classroom and reflection to actually ‘get something’. She also said that every time she goes to re-watch a video clip or reread an extract, she finds not only has she grown but that there is also stuff that she didn’t take away before.
One reason that I have mentioned this is that some teachers and schools are not necessarily getting as much from the courses as they could. There are a couple of reasons for this that I would like to bring to your attention – as I know some schools are planning on using the courses as part of their school improvement plan for mathematics professional development.
Let’s begin with the fact that the courses are not meant to be treated as books that can be quickly read or skimmed through.
They are built deliberately in short modules with:
- video extracts
- key information and research summaries in print form
- reflective questions
And classroom-based activities that allow teachers to actually go into their classroom and test things out, make observations and question their current understandings and pedagogy.
As A Professional Development Program
The courses were not written to replace one-day face-to-face workshops. Several schools have used them with some frustration as one-day professional development for their staff and at the end of the day teachers have felt overwhelmed.
There is a lot of thinking, new learning and reflection in these intense modules, which may not happen in a day and as described above, the course can be revisited, and dipped into at any time. We’re mindful that teachers wouldn’t be able to absorb the whole content in one sitting and thus designed it with the flexibility and convenience that suits you.
On a more positive note, there are many schools and PLCs who have been working through the units thoroughly and in depth over a period of time.
Generally an hour or so has been set aside at staff meetings to unpack, discuss and reflect on the content and the pedagogical moves. At subsequent meetings teachers reflect on their classroom-based findings and their next moves. Feedback from such schools has been overwhelmingly positive both in terms of teacher change and growth and also in outcomes for students. We have several schools planning on systematically working their way through them all.
Schools often wonder where to start with the courses.
Each school is at a different stage in their mathematical journey so it is not easy to say which course to embark on first or next, etc, however if you drop us a line with a little information about where you are on your journey and what your priorities are, we are happy to offer some suggestions.
To view the online courses click here. Enjoy and as always, feel free to email us or contact us via Facebook with feedback.