I am a principal instructor for a positive behaviour support network. This gives me the opportunity to visit and train in a lot of schools. The best part of our network is that whilst I have additional responsibilities as network coordinator it is not a hierarchy. It is truly a collaborative team approach to training.
There are instructors from a range of backgrounds and with widely differing levels of experience in specific fields of education. All currently work in either special schools or alternative provision. Due to ‘the rules’ no school has enough instructors to train all their staff. That means we rely on each other to support the training needed. you may find yourself delivering to a group of staff you don’t know, in a school you haven’t been to before… I can hear tutting but don’t panic!
In this case you have two options. Deliver of powerpoint of prefabricated out of the box slides. Rely on the person from the school to make you a powerpoint to read… the tutting is now deafening!
OR THIRDLY (Shouting over the tutting) promote discussion, interaction, engagement. With your group model the values you are trying to teach. Ensure when you say their is a child centered approach make sure you as instructors are listening to those you are there to train, to teach.
Prior to becoming an instructor I had sat through the out of the box training at least 5 times (yearly statutory requirement) and despite tweaks and being delivered by different instructors It was to be blunt draining. I was not alone in being disengaged. Thinking I knew the answers, that I was there to tick a box.
Since taking the lead I vowed that I would do my best to ensure those in the training didn’t feel like that. I scrapped the old ppt, made a smaller one with more visuals and far fewer words (and a third of the slides) and tried to ensure I wasn’t talking more than the groups.
We have also recruited more instructors from front line staff (non SLT) this has really improved the rapport with groups who felt more confident in airing views and asking for help rather than trying to show how much they knew (for brownie points)
We teach as part of PBS that it is our reactions to interactions with challenging students that will determine the outcome. We should not be afraid to allow people to challenge us and our thinking.
Those running training often come as the experts. But x is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure. We are there to guide, share our experiences, and share the ethos of PBS. We need those working with the most vulnerable students to feel equipped and confident that we know what we are talking about because we live it everyday, not because it is on the powerpoint.