I took a teaching course in Kingston, Tuesday to Friday this week. The topic was Meaningful Activities to Generate Interest in the Classroom - hence the acronym MAGIC. Taught by a retired teacher, Ron Dempsey, it was a quick and dirty way to get a credit for professional upgrading. Since my credentials brought me back the lowest possible score (A2), I need to get some upgrading, especially if I can snag the odd Long Term Occasional position. Then you are paid on where you fall on the salary grid, with A2's getting the poorest, A3's mid-range and A4's the top. I'm hoping one or two more courses and I can slide up to an A3.
The course was quite fascinating, as it was basically all games and activities that you can use and adapt in the classroom situation. It is always fun to meet and chinwag with other teachers, from diverse backgrounds and interests. There were 20 of us, from five different districts. Four of them I knew from past experiences, the rest were all new.
|Our fearless leader is the capped individual, studying his next move.|
Dempsey is an engaging speaker, lots of dry humour, and a great facilitator. He was certainly not your boring run-of-the-mill lecturer. Of course the material did lend itself to active participation and hands-on activities.
He is offering a couple of double weekend courses this fall, so if I can scrape together the sheckels, I may take another one.
The one drawback, is the distance. Kingston is an hour drive, so it was two hours on the road each day. The other beef I had, and this has nothing to do with the course or the content. Constant chatter! When did we get so rude? I know, I experienced this in my teaching degree, but those were mostly young grads who had not yet taught. I would expect teachers who maintain classroom discipline day in, day out, to show a little more respect - but no, it was chatter, chatter, chatter - just like a bunch of grade six magpies.
But apart from that slight annoyance, I had a great time, picked up a lot of good tips, made some good contacts for supply requests and generally had fun.
And that is about all I have to say for today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.