In-Service Training Day

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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By David Gray

The students were absent from school since it was In-Service Training Day. Given the amount of illness that there has been in the last couple of weeks within the student body, it was probably a good thing for them to have an extended weekend in order to be refreshed and  fit and ready for school on Monday.  The In Service training day was organized and hosted by Gisele Hanna to whom I am very grateful for the work she put in to create a stimulating and engaging day. Following a welcome by me and explanation of housekeeping matters by Gisele, Georges Rizkallah gave us a reminder of the purposes of teaching and learning before we all went off to join the various sections to consider progress on the study amongst the students of Quaker values this term, namely individuality, respect, tolerance and peaceful resolution.  I attended the Infants’ Section review of the progress they are making with instilling these four values into children’s understanding and behavior; so far things appear to be going well.

Apart from spending parts of the morning mixing with colleagues over coffee,  I then gave my own presentation to recently appointed Heads of department and Subject coordinators on lesson observation, an essential part of their duties not only in undertaking appraisal but also in supporting their colleagues more generally.  I enjoyed giving the session and found everybody very responsive and interested in how to go about the process of watching a lesson and in evaluating it.

I then attended a session on time management through the management of energy, given by a visitor to the school and professional coach, Nancy Abdo, which was not quite what I had expected but reassuring and soothing in its approach particularly in its emphasis in terms of redirecting energy and living in the present moment.

I looked in on some of the other sessions too and felt that there was a good range and variety of sessions available for colleagues to choose from.  I am also grateful to the kitchen staff for providing lunch. As ever at In-service training sessions, it is not only the sessions themselves which matter but also the opportunity to mix with colleagues and to  reflect on how the professional experience has been over the previous months, since during the course of a week there is  little opportunity for reflection and for resetting of the compass. An In-service training day affords time for us all to consider and improve upon our professional practice.