Thursday, January 3, 2013

A selection of teacher training sessions

A small selection of my many  teacher training seminars, for a full list please contact me via email. 

New for 2016-2017
- The Creative Classroom 
- How to become an Effective Story Teller.

Classroom Management
- The Teenage Paradox
Mixed, Varied, Diverse, Assorted - Dealing with differences in our classrooms.
- Another Brick in the Wall
- Learning to Fail, Failing to learn
- Managing for Success
- Brains - What are they good for?
- A Pinch of Salt
Interactive Whiteboards Friend or Foe
- Untangling the web: Choosing and Integrating web tools into our teaching
Blended Learning – the past, the future or passing fad?
Practical Activities
- Where do stories come from?
- Sing and you’re winning
- Adapt, Expand and Use
- Bags of Vocabulary
- Receptive Skills Processing the Process.
- Writing - Bringing writing tasks up to date.
- Projects making the most of them.

Training the Trainer 
- What is teacher training?

New for 2016-2017

Five steps to becoming an effective storyteller.
 “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” -Phillip Pullman.
What’s your favourite story? When was the last time you told a story? We tell stories all the time -to our kids, to our friends, to our parents, the answer to the question how was your day, is a story. Stories are our life blood. But do stories have a role in our classrooms? As teachers, if we are effective storytellers, then we can open a whole new world to our students.

So, how do we become effective storytellers and what do we do before, during and after stories to help capture the students’ imagination and help them fall in love with stories? In this session we will look at the answers to these questions and provide practical tips to help you become a more effective classroom storyteller.

The Creative Classroom – Or what if all the cars in the world were yellow? 
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” This quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery reminds me of language teaching. We often equip students with the tools to use English but fail to show them the great powers learning another language can give them. In other words, has language teaching become too safe? Are we preparing students to pass exams rather than allowing them to use the language they know? In this talk we will look at why creative output is an important part of language learning and how we can provide students with opportunities to use and stretch their existing knowledge in order to become creative language users.

Classroom Management

The Teenage Paradox 
One of the biggest complaints from teenagers about school is that 'the teachers don't even know our names'. They want to be seen as individuals and not just one of the herd. Yet they often have a herd mentality, hunting in packs, sticking with the same friends, not wanting to be picked out in class and not wanting to appear different. So how do we as teachers get the right balance between treating the students as individuals and allowing them to be part of the crowd? In this session we try to answer this paradox by sharing best practice and demonstrating practical activities that allow students' personality to shine from the safety of the group.

Not Just another brick in the wall - a conversation with Pink Floyd.
For years the Pink Floyd classic has been an anthem and inspiration to rebellious students all over the world but has anyone every challenged it? In this plenary I will have an imaginary conversation with Pink Floyd to try to find out why they so were disenchanted with education and to try tackle the problems they describe.

Learning to Fail Failing to Learn
Did you know Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple in 1985 or that JK Rowling first manuscript was rejected by 12 publishers? Scratch the surface of any great success and you are likely to see a catalogue of failures. So why are we so scared of failure? Why are we so focussed on the right and so terrified of the wrong? Sometimes we need to get something wrong just so we can see where we are making the mistake. In this talk we will look at how we as teachers can help our students learn how to fail by teaching them to address problem and how to learn from mistakes. That will mean our students will be more willing to make mistakes, more willing to take risks and help themselves fail to learn.

Mixed, Varied, Diverse, Assorted - Dealing with differences in our classrooms.
Imagine a class where all the students were the same, how boring would it be? Every class has a mixture of levels, abilities, interests and enthusiasms and that should be something that is celebrated, not worried about. But often activities that claim to help with mixed levels and abilities create a lot of extra work for the teacher. In this session we will celebrate the diversity of our classes and look at simple, easy to prepare activities that will help all your students make the most of their English classes.
Managing for success.
A successful classroom manager is a successful teacher. But what makes a successful classroom manager? In this session we will reflect on our own classroom management and look at ways to give instructions, to move students around and to encourage the use of English in our classrooms as well as looking at why these are important. We will also demonstrate a range of practical and useful activities to help us improve our classroom management skills and come up with an answer to the question, what makes a good classroom manager.
60 – 90 Minutes
Teenagers and adults

Brains - What are they good for?
Do you know how the individuals in your class tick? Do you know what they are thinking or feeling? Do you ever consider how you can make them feel more comfortable? In this talk we will consider how to how brains work, how that affects the learning process, and how we can create more brain friendly lessons for our students.
60 – 90 Minutes

With a pinch of salt?
What do you think? is often the hardest question we can ask our students. Asking students to think for themselves can be an alien concept. But a student who can open their minds is a student that can learn. In this session we will look at what critical thinking is and why it is important to help students develop their critical thinking skills when preparing for English Language exams or just for life.
60  Minutes
Teenagers and adults

Interactive Whiteboards Friend or Foe?
When is it good to use the interactive whiteboard? What benefits can they bring to the classroom? What are the dangers of over using them? In this session we will look at some answers to these questions and provide practical ideas of how to integrate an interactive whiteboard effectively into your teaching.
60 Minutes
All Sectors
Workshop / talk

Untangling the web: Choosing and Integrating web tools into our teaching.
Since the "Read-Write" web (Web 2.0) burst onto the scene at the beginning of the millennium, the use of web technology in English language teaching has been a hot topic of discussion. As well as discussion, the advent of Web 2.0 brought with it a vast array of ready-made materials, resources, and tools. This wealth of possibilities now leaves us with a web in which a lack of familiarity makes it all too easy to get tangled.
The aim of this session is to allow participants to take a hands-on look at 5 free web tools, which will help to motivate and engage learners, as well as complement course book material. During this practical training day participants will have the chance to familiarise themselves with and try out the various tools before considering how they can be integrated into teaching either for purposes of classroom presentation, classwork or to help with homework.
120 Minutes
Teenage and Adult
Workshop / talk

Blended Learning – the past, the future or passing fad?
The internet has enabled us to change the paradigm of learning; no longer do we need to rely on face-to-face learning environments. There is much discussion about how much classroom time is needed and what the balance between classroom and self-study should be.  In this session we will discuss the issues of blended learning and look at the options open to us as teachers to develop a learning environment to suit our learners.
60 Minutes

Practical Activites

Where do stories come from?
It is hard enough to get our students to write factual pieces let alone if we ask them to use their imagination. Yet creative writing can be a really useful way to get students to express themselves and use English in a imaginative and stimulating way. In this session we will think about the process needed to get students writing creatively and try to answer the question where do stories come from.

Sing and you’re wining 
Music and song is a great motivational tool for learners of all ages. It is natural and memorable exposure to English and brings variety and fun to the language classroom. In this session we will look at how to best exploit songs for students of all ages, so we can use them again and again and our students will be singing when they are winning.
60 Minutes
Upper Primary / Teenage / Adult

Adapt, Expand and Use
'You don't teach the course book, you teach the students.' So how do you decide what to use from the course book and how to use it. In this session we will look at how to Adapt, Expand and Use the course book effectively and efficiently, with loads of practical activities for making the most of your course book.
60 Minutes
Teenage / Adult

Bags of Vocabulary
To learn a word we need to see it 7 times. That means we as teachers need to recycle and reuse vocabulary as much as possible in the classroom. In this session we will look at 10 practical and fun ways to review and revise vocabulary. 
60 Minutes
Teenage / Adult

Receptive Skills Processing the Process
Can we teach students to read or listen better in a foreign language? Why do students struggle to understand reading and listening texts? What can we do to help them? In this workshop we will look at the answers to these questions by looking at the receptive skills sub-skills,  reflecting on the problems students have with them and  to suggest some solutions. 

Writing - Bringing writing tasks up to date.
Writing is often seen as a chore for both teachers and students but in the days of blogs, social media and email writing has become a primary form of communication. In this session we will ask if there a way we can bring a modern touch to traditional writing exercises and suggest some ideas for making writing in the class motivating and fun. 

Projects – Making the most of them.
Why do we do projects with our students? What do our students think of them? What should we as teachers consider when setting up projects and how do we get our students interested in them? We often do projects with our students but do we really consider why or how to set them up? In this session we will look at answers to all these questions and look at some practical activities to maximise the benefits of doing projects in the classroom. 

Trainer Training
What is teacher training?
We regularly talk about continuous professional development (CPD) for teachers and there are many chances for teachers to take part in teacher training but what about the trainer? Couldn't we benefit from some professional development too? The Oxford 'Training the Trainer' day will give us a chance to discuss and reflect on our training experience and to share our thoughts about the best way to deliver effective teacher training.

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