Condense it, consolidate it, and give us principals only what we need...the concepts. Expand it, expound on it, and give the teachers what they need...the training. I am writing this article sitting in AVID training in beautiful San Diego on Thursday, the fourth (and not final) day of the training, during the first week of August. I honestly could have left after Tuesday. I learned the concepts I need to know to recognize effective AVID teaching in my building, and I have received more than enough written material to keep me well informed during the year. And I am in the administrators’ strand. What I don’t need right now are all the nitty gritty details (and fluff) while my building is not yet fully staffed, I have 15 unopened boxes of stuff from my former school sitting in the middle of my new office, and emails up the wazoo about what I should really be attending to at the building right now. Believe me, I am all for staff development. But please, make it relevant, timely and to the point. Please, think about offering conference strands on a principal’s timeline. Being away from the building is costly and inconvenient, yet we need to be up on all the latest initiatives. As a new middle school principal I have a steep learning curve that includes not just AVID, but IB, DL, 5ES, WTL, and PBIS, to name a few acronyms of our middle school initiatives. I can’t spend my life in training, but I do need to spend quality time learning the concepts.
By Nancy Flynn
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