Billions wasted on teacher training? Not to mention teachers’ wasted time? No surprise there.
Here’s why: Training is nearly always about “checking off the boxes” to comply with implementation of the latest pedagogic fads rather than actually improving teaching practices.
And 99% of these trainings ignore the principles of an effective lesson:
▪ Introduce: Focus students. Activate prior knowledge.
▪ Teach: Describe. Demonstrate. Discuss.
▪ Guided practice.
▪ Independent practice.
Teacher training almost always skips the last three components, which must be done back in the classroom by a trainer. This requires a lot of staff or consultant time and needs to continue over several weeks to make new best practices become a regular part of each teacher’s “bag of tricks.”
But even the best crafted and delivered lesson will not result in student learning if a teacher does the absolutely worst thing I’ve observed over the years: Teach to the favored few. Ignore everyone else. So sad.
Fortunately, such teachers are a small minority. But for this reason alone, ironclad tenure laws need to be loosened a little.
Susan Weikel Morrison, Fresno