5 ways any school can waste money and what to do about it Pt 4

23 May 2012

Over the last few days we have been looking at ways schools waste money and what we can do about it.  These observations are based on my time spent in hundreds of schools all around Australia.

We have looked at the following four areas schools waste money.

1.  The principal is not aware of their leadership role.

2.  Hire the wrong type of person to oversee the technology in your school.

3.  Spending money on licences for software and becoming too reliant on hardware such as servers.

4.  Thinking programs not steps

Here is the last way I see schools are wasting money and what they can do about it

rp_digital-learning.jpg5.  Having a one shot approach to your professional development

Have you ever stopped to consider why it is that when we teach our lessons we link them to the previous lesson; why we expect our students to revisit course concepts and revise the work done previously, yet when it comes to staff development days and professional learning for teachers we only provide the training in short bursts (1 day at the most) and then never revisit that learning again?

I am not sure why the person making decisions about the content for staff development days feel the need to constantly be providing something new.  I can understand that if the information was irrelevant or poorly delivered, you would move onto someone else or another company.  But here is my challenge; you wouldn’t approach your teaching that way, so don’t approach your staff development days that way.

For your teachers to master a particular aspect of teaching, they will need multiple touch points over a prolonged amount of time.

What you can do about this:

Let me give you the steps to making your staff development days a success.

1.  Start by going back to the staff and asking what professional development sessions they enjoyed and what made a difference to their teaching.

2.  Look at your master plan and work out what steps you need to move you towards your goals.

3.  Work on the steps that overlap with your staff’s recommendation.  This will greatly increase your staff engagement and participation.

4.  Find a professional development provider that can tailor their training to your needs, and who is willing to build a relationship with your school long term.

5.  When you find a professional development provider that has made a difference in one of your staff’s teaching, make it a priority to expose the whole staff to that teaching.  There is power when your entire staff are working on the same material.

Obviously as a professional development provider this is an issue that I am passionate about.

If you would like to look into the possibility of developing a relationship over time that will build the skills of your teachers, please contact us.


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