Half-Day In-services Do Not Make a Difference

Never assume that anyone can teach a program after having only one training session on it. This is a common fallacy in educational staff development today (at least in my organization). We give our teachers a half-day in-service on MS Word and expect them to take their kids into an unmanned lab and teach a lesson with it. BIG MISTAKE!! This simply creates lessons in frustration. (Added by Barbara) Teachers are just like any other learner in this situation. They have different learning styles. Some are visual learners. If they learn something once and don't have time to practice and reflect on how it works, they will forget it. Adult learners also have a lot on their minds. If they are learning how to use Word and they don't see the relevance for their own use or to their classroom immediately, they lose interest. Teachers, especially those just beginning to use technology, work better if professional development is relevant and purposeful.

Submitted by:Nancy Hill, Information Specialist
Ramstein American High School
Ramstein, Germany