Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Should Teacher In-Services Emphasize?


Last week I attended an in-service led by Fred Jones who our professional development committee brought in to address teacher concerns from an end of year survey given last May. The in-service was about *gasp* classroom discipline. While I had to sit through another behaviorist approach to getting students to behave (Mr. Jones is a psychologist), and had to endure his overt teachers versus students presentation I became pretty irritated by both the choice of topic as well as the method Jones espouses.

Obviously the survey must have been heavy on getting classroom discipline help or the committee would not have addressed it. My biggest problem is at no time was student learning addressed. I thought the purpose of school was to help students learn; I wonder when school became a place to pacify unruly students.

What was the topic of your last in-service and did it have anything to do with student learning?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our last inservice was about using our new Flip cams. Focus on producing videos for learning.

NZWaikato said...

Our last in service was on Restorative Practices, the idea being the staff should move from being punitive in dealing with discipline to empowering the students to be remorseful. Doesn't work with street wise kids. Its been a long time since I've had PD not focused on the discipline of students, one way or another.

neochonetes said...

Is Fred Jones still giving inservices? You know all he can do is provide a basic overview in one session. I won't tell you when I FIRST saw him....you did get that....FIRST...

Most teachers have had some type of student interaction/discipline class while they were in college. In my masters' level SPED coursework, we had SEVERAL classes, including one DEVOTED to behavior modification.

You need to keep kids busy and interested, and then you don't have to worry about discipline. I know you keep your students learning and engaged, so I guess I ASSUMED that your colleagues were doing stuff similar to what you are.

If their survey answers indicated that they need help with discipline, it seems to me that they are still trying to put new wine in old skins.

Amazing! Can you see me from here? I'm shaking my head in amazement.

BTW, I signed in w/my science name. It's really n2teaching.

LeeAnn said...

I think writers workshop was our last inservice. I hope it was valuable, as I was the one leading! But honestly, our school wide inservice days get used to work on NCA and EdYes (a Michigan initiative.) Unfortunately, it never gets to the heart of teaching and learning.

Technology and Teaching Committee said...

I'm glad I don't have to go to those things. An advantage of being a college professor, I suppose.

Jarrod Lamshed said...

You are exactly right. So much inservice training is pointed in the wrong direction. It's not rocket science.... If we better engage students in the learning, the behaviour improves with it.

Jane Hake said...

I agree...we should walk away from inservice inspired to try new methods or resources for engaging our students... Many of the "programs", like the discipline one you describe, seem to be aimed at "fixing" some percieved "problem"