Yet another PD day (one just before H/T), yet another INSET speaker. Oh joy(!)
Actually, though, I was pleasantly surprised by today’s guest speaker, Gary Wilson. With a good blend of observational humour and thoughtful insights I actually feel that I gained a lot from this morning’s session – both as a teacher and as a parent (of a boy, naturally).
Topics covered included literacy (did you know that boys aged 4 and 5 are physiologically unprepared to write?), self esteem, ‘key leaders’ (our term) or ‘peer police’ (his) and how much control they have, mind mapping, P4C (Philosophy for Children/Philosophy for Communities), positive re-enforcement, plenaries, chunking and a host of others too numerous to mention.
On the face of it that might seem a little too shallow and all-encompassing. It may also seem like a lot of things you’re already dealing with. What it actually did was to consilidate the things that we are already doing and to suggest ways to carry that forwards. I now have a whole host of ideas to work on (far more than I actually have time to implement, naturally) and I feel pretty darned enthusiastic (good timing at what is more-or-less the midpoint of the year).
I would thoroughly recommend Gary to anyone who can pin him down as a witty, articulate, engaging and experience former-teacher who actually has a lot of positive ideas that can be put to good use.