In-Service Training Day

Friday, 20 May 2022

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By David Gray

Friday, 13 May was In-Service Training Day. I would like to thank at the outset Nado Chelala, the Head of Professional Development and Appraisal, for the hard work she put in in organising and preparing a day of development and training for colleagues.  The day started off by Nado and I welcoming colleagues and explaining how the day would run before we all went off in our own directions to follow a range of workshops which on the one hand were designed to improve knowledge and develop skills with speakers from both within the school and from outwith the school, and on the other hand to support staff through workshops such as Yoga and Health and Wellbeing.  I am very grateful to all colleagues who prepared and presented workshops. These were very well received and attended and there was a good atmosphere throughout the day.  I attended the Child Protection Course led by Sarah Hanna first of all which had a large number of attendees and which was an excellent refresher to remind us of the principles of child protection and safeguarding and which included a number of scenarios for us to consider.  It is important that we have regular sessions on Child Protection since these issues can arise totally unexpectedly and often at a considerable distance in time from one to the next. In addition it is the responsibility of all staff, not just some, to address and deal with and pass on to relevant people incidents which may have child protection or safeguarding implications.  I then attended a workshop led by Lisette El Hage on classroom management which was attended mainly by, although not exclusively, by new teachers which I thought was excellent.  I have been teaching for 44 years and this workshop therefore acted as a very good refresher for me reminding me of the real reasons why I was in the classroom.  The fact is that teaching is a vocation or a calling and not simply a job, and how best to inspire, encourage and manage children in the classroom were admirably covered by Lisette’s presentation .  I had felt that this year, my classroom management skills were less than perfect and that I have got into some sloppy habits. The course helped me reflect on my practice and to think about how I could improve my lesson planning and my presentation in the classroom.

I would like to thank Abdo Trad and the kitchen staff for an excellent lunch and it was a joy to be able to sit outside in the sunshine while eating.  After lunch, I joined Lisette El Hage and members of the English Department for a very constructive and productive meeting. Amongst other things it was  decided to hold a literary evening if possible before the close of school year. It was also reassuring to be reminded of what we had to do over the next few weeks and what we should aim to do in the next academic year.

It is my intention that we shall always have workshops to support staff needs on each occasion we have In-service days in the future.  These are just as important as workshops in which we learn how we can better teach and develop our skills.

Click HERE for images of the event on Facebook.