Today I went to Day 2 of becoming a mentor for my graduate teacher.....
I just want to say this: My god! There are some BORING presenters out there.
While I understand the difficulty in creating an exciting, interesting and creative programme for Primary, Secondary, Special Needs, Government, Independent and Catholic school teachers, BUT the presenters of today's programme need to be revitalised!
We spent 2 hours (30 minutes should have been enough!) reflecting on the process of what we had learnt on Day 1! WTF! I tried to wipe day one from my brain and we had some monotonic male droning on about how we should have implemented the thinking processes from the first day with our mentoree. If I spoke in that same way to my mentoree she would run away and I would not blame her!
I had dutifully filled in the feedback sheet on day 1 and I got stuck into the programme as presented to us. This man spent a good 15 minutes defending the professional development and how 'most of the participants had found the day and process worthwhile'. He commented about the principals and provisionally registered teachers.
Now for my unbiased (I jest) opinion. Most provisionally registered teachers LOVE everything. They are new and everything is new to them. Most principals say "it's good," when they know better. They know that if they comment about how it really is, they will be asked to find a better way. They often take the 'easier' option as there are more pressing matters for them to contend with, like running a school.
The better part of the day was the afternoon when we found out the real nuts and bolts of recommending someone for full registration. It took 1 hour! The woman who was running this session was reasonably good and had at least re written the power point slides to suit her personality.
Another thing - what is it with power points? Why do professional development situations rely on them? If I see another power point presentation at a PD I will explode and then the audience will have something to view. I mean they give you a hand out with all the slides on it as well, then you get documents that they are reading from which is all power point driven. There is no personality in the presentation. In fact I find it difficult to comprehend that a teaching organisation presents Professional Development in such a poor way. It is an insult to the profession I am a part of.
I have run my own PD session (within my faculty at work) and it is hard to make it totally relevant for all. I had the overhead going with the interactive whiteboard, I had handouts and I spent no more than 20 minutes delivering the information. A question and answer session and off we go. I know that this is small compared to what I witnessed today but I had gained some understanding of what was wanted BEFORE I began.
Today we were told. We were not developed. Our expertise was not encouraged dramatically. That was why were there. We had been chosen by our schools to mentor new graduates as we are seen as leaders at various stages of development.
There were some who found the day valuable. For some it was an eye opener. I am lucky I work in a school where we are given this information - often in bucketloads, but at least we are aware. For me, today was about racking up 6 hours of Professional Development towards my 100 hours needed in 5 years time. I am disappointed that I see it this way. I am disappointed that I was not presented with best practice as a reference point to refer to when reflecting on my own teaching.
Tomorrow, thankfully, I am back in the classroom.