Our school has made great progress on lots of fronts, but the quality of our teaching has still not improved enough.
So we held a staff training day on Friday to focus on this, and we did not share one new idea. Why? Because the teachers are not yet implementing the ideas we have already shared. That’s not all their fault, but there’s no point in moving onto new ideas until the existing ideas are put into practice.
It’s a concept we are encouraging our teachers to take up in their own classroom – don’t teach students a new topic until they’ve learned the current topic. And if they don’t understand the current topic – re-teach it. That what this training was – a big re-teach.
It was also the first time our school (and perhaps any government school) had had a whole day training session before. That’s right. Staff occasionally go for individual training, but not as a whole staff team (including our cooks and cleaners).
We hired a local hall, had a lovely lunch and spent the day focussing on how to improve our teaching.
The highlight of the day was when our teachers spontaneously began to share stories of how their students were progressing. The low point was when a small group got into a petty argument at the end of the day.
But as Clive Woodward, the World Cup-winning England rugby coach said, ‘Winning doesn’t happen in a straight line.’