Teacher’s Toolbox Workshop
The Teacher’s Toolbox
Reflecting on your teaching strategies, what works, what has got a little rusty and what you forgot you had is something all teachers should do regularly.
We all get in a rut at some point in our professional lives and teaching is no exception. We use what works but what happens when it no longer works? Have you lost your edge?
The analogy with teaching and having a toolkit is no accident. Some tools get blunt, some get lost because they are rarely if ever used and some get worn out, and then there is the trusty tool that never lets you down. For each task there is a tool, sometimes more than one, that can be used to do the job. Some perform better than others and some need careful maintenance to work at their peak. Managing learners is no different. What works with one group of students may not work with another.
So why the Teacher Toolkit?
The Teacher Toolkit is part of a CPD course that will help you reflect on and improve your student behaviour management practices. It takes the approach of seeing learning through the eyes of the learner and understanding their learning needs. The result is better classroom management, improved student behaviour and greater engagement from your learners.
What is in the teacher’s toolkit?
The simple answer is more than you think, and like our metaphorical toolkit some are blunt and some have been forgotten. So what can you do about it? Well like any tool box it is often dragged into the light when there is a problem, a job that needs doing. As we rummage through it ideas come to mind and possible tools weighed up in an effort to pick the right one for the job.
What if you re discovered the right tool but found it blunt or missing a part, or worse still you forgot how it works?
A little careful maintenance and sorting out now and then is a good thing to do. We rediscover things we have forgotten and recognise new opportunities for old ideas. If we share toolkits we may even borrow the odd tool now and then too. So it is with the teacher’s toolkit.
I recently took my metaphorical toolkit into a school as part of a workshop I ran on managing learner’s needs. Everyone who attended the workshop said that recognising the range of tools available to the teacher and how these can influence the response of learners made a positive impact on their thinking and their relationship with learners.
Reviews of the workshop included comments such as:
“I did not realise how much we all use and what they* are for.. .” *The tools available to teachers to engage learners.
“I thought the toolkit was great, it was interesting to realise that we can make a difference through everyday things.”
In using the toolkit we “can reflect on pupil’s behaviour and how you would react … very interesting course well worth taking part in.”
If you are interested in finding out more about this “hands on” workshop and exploring your own teacher’s toolkit then you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the website at www.ace-d.co.uk.
A few points about the workshop:
- The workshop is primarily “hands on” and avoids the use of presentations.
- The ideal number of participants is between 8 and 12. A good strategy is to send representatives from curriculum and support areas and ask them to take back to their teams the key points from the session.
- The workshop can tailored to run from 90 minutes to a whole morning session.
- Participants will be challenged and face the choices they make in the classroom.
- Innovative ideas for reminding teachers of the tools at their disposal are included in the workshop producing identifiable outcomes around the school.
- Location is important and a comfortable area with refreshments (and of course biscuits!) is ideal. There is no need for projectors or any ICT although a white board or flipchart would be useful (I like to draw!)
- A printed copy of the e-book “Understanding Learning Needs” will be provided for each participant. Further copies or a discount site license is available should you require copies for all staff (recommended).
UPDATE – The toolbox is now part of a CPD course “Promoting Learning Relationships” Details are available at: Good CPD Guide