Today was another day that was for me and many others a waste of time receiving unfocused and superficial training.
We went into the room to be met with a whole load of initials on the whiteboard and are then asked over the next 15 minutes to guess what teaching approaches they represented. WTF?? Can anyone see the value in this, apart from to waste time and to possibly once again prove the intellect of the instructor and the ignorance of the audience? Indeed that very question of what’s the point was raised ( what's the point ) and the response was this is what we are covering today. Ok, very good but why not just write them up on the board or prepare a hand out or something that would have been more productive? It would have saved 15 minutes of no idea, don’t know responses.
For the next 2 and a half hours we had the Readers Digest condensed guide to TEFL teaching. Mainly from the teachers not the trainer. He gave out a sheet with a brief description of a method to groups and then the groups had to give a 5 minute presentation. Err, ok and do we get an overall summary handouts at the end? No, have we been given anything to keep and refer to later? No. Can we take any notes? Well yes, but the notes would be based on another teachers 15 minutes of reading one sheet of paper about a method. Not a proper course researched, compiled and delivered by a teacher trainer and which you could refer back to at a later date. Again nor was the content really focused on how to adapt it to the specific needs of the different age groups and situations. Just the we will throw everything up in the air and we rely on you to decide and pick out what is or what is not useful to you.
Is this better than no training at all? Yes, it is but not by much. It is so superficial, ill conceived, unfocused and unprepared that to actual concentrate for the whole period and mine for the golden nuggets that you can use is very very difficult.
Tomorrow brings the promise of more activities that are presented as being “learner centred” but in reality are ones where they have thought what else can we do to keep them occupied and save as much work as possible for us.