Why training days shouldn't be pointless

Back at school and have survived the first day of inset.

For those of you from outside the world of education, inset days are training days. No students but lots of seminars. In my experience, they are nearly always a wasted opportunity.

The fault is on both sides. Most teachers I know turn up in a negative mindset (I'm not exempting myself from this). They expect the sessions to be useless and therefore make no effort to get anything out of them. In that sense, we can be like our worst students.

Yet management also don't make things easy. Too often the sessions are vague and uninspiring.

One very good session leader once set out her criteria for a successful session; can a teacher walk away with an idea that they can use in the classroom tomorrow? Answer yes and that's a good session. Anything else is fluff.

In a school like ours that is trying hard to turn itself around, inset days should be valuable. It wouldn't take much to make them so.