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THE PRINCIPALS' TRAINING CENTER
PTC and Beyond
By Bambi Betts 14-Oct-14
For over 25 years, the PTC has been pursuing a mission: to provide quality training for international educators. The pages you are viewing are filled with examples, both those that have served our international community for over two decades, alongside our newest offerings—teacher leader institutes, a "new" finance course jointly offered with AISH, etc.—targeted, researched-based, practical training, led by facilitators with extensive international school experience and always solely in the company of colleagues from international schools.
But just as with younger learners, these opportunities are only a starting point. It is what each participant does with that learning after leaving the comfort zone of a PTC course that truly matters. And we have learned a few things about what to do and what NOT to do.
What is the best possible way to get the learning to "stick"?
· Use what you have learned as soon as possible after you complete the training. If your current position doesn’t allow you to do so, ask your principal to help you find a way to practice it right away.
Other powerful glue factors:
· Establish a critical friend connection with at least one person from the course—make a commitment to share experiences once a month.
· If your school asks you to establish a personal goal for the year, choose something very concrete from the course material.
· Ask a supervisor to view your progress through an evaluative lens.
The most common mistake we see as follow up from a professional development course? Upon your return to school, you are expected to "teach" colleagues what you just learned, even if that means distilling a six-day course down to a couple of hours. Bad idea. Doesn’t work. Can backfire.
If teaching content to others is part of the "deal" behind your school supporting you financially to attend a course, suggest strongly that the research on this issue is clear: you will be a much more effective teacher of your colleagues once you have had sufficient opportunity to practice in an authentic context what you have learned.
For a more in-depth exploration into the truth about professional development, follow Bambi Betts’ PTC blog at http://www.tieonline.com.
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