5 Reasons Why Primary Teachers Should Engage in Virtual Training
As teachers, we are more versatile than we ever thought possible.
We always knew that we could deal with unpredictability – after all, no two days in the classroom are ever the same. Likewise, tools for handling disruption are always in our back pocket, ready to whip out at a moment’s notice. It’s practically second nature to us.
But disruption on this scale… For this long?
No PGCE module could ever cover it. Only the School of Life could present us with three months of teaching into a laptop and then a further goodness-knows-how-long of grouping, distancing and discouraging flurries of fake coughing from your resident classroom comedian.
Despite the ever-changing nature of the classroom, we remain creative, resilient and up for the challenge. However, we mustn’t neglect our own development and – perhaps – the surprise evolution of teaching has done us a few, scant favours in this regard.
As opposed to the heavy learning schedules associated with Inset Day, virtual training is becoming far more readily available, offering bitesize modules of teacher training that differ massively from generic YouTube videos or recommended reading lists.
Not sure if you or your teaching staff should get involved? Here’s 5 reasons why virtual training could be just what you need for a development boost in unprecedented times.
1.It’s often free
Of course, there are always exceptions – but many virtual learning options don’t cost a penny, and you cut the cost of commuting, too.
There are a whole host of teaching tools available and it’s not always practical to get a rep into school to demonstrate how these work – and much less to show it to every staff member, in detail.
When provided with live virtual training, your whole workforce can access the same demonstration (and not necessarily at the same time). Better yet, it’s always a front-row seat.
Having tools demonstrated to you first-hand is a real motivation to use them for yourself and, often, you can ask your questions in real-time and truly get the most out of the experience.
Live demonstrations that take place virtually can also feel a little more relaxed and informal, allowing for a greater flow of ideas and questions from the entire ‘room’.
3.Efficient use of time
Teaching has never been a profession that’s particularly time-rich (hence the bundling of training into five dedicated days a year). However, it’s far easier to find an hour for training to be delivered when you don’t need accommodate for travel time or clashing schedules.
Virtual training is extremely flexible, allowing sessions with external providers to be arranged irrespective of distance. Similarly, these sessions can be recorded and reviewed at a later date by any staff members who aren’t able to make the first event.
When a training session is recorded, it also has the additional benefit of being available whenever you need it; so if you’re somebody who learns best by repetition, you can keep delving in to the critical details whenever and wherever it suits you best .
No two pupils are the same, let alone any two schools. Generic training sessions can, therefore, come up short.
When training sessions are delivered remotely – but very specifically for your school – the content can be tailored to relate to your particular needs and concerns, allowing you to maximise the knowledge gained in a short space of time.
Virtual meeting platforms (as you’ll likely know by now) are tailored around user interaction, so questions can be asked easily and without disruption, allowing you to get exactly the advice you need, precisely when you need it.
When you’re working with a tight schedule, it’s easy to feel pressured into cramming all of your learning material into a single hour (as teachers, we know this feeling all too well!).
With virtual training, you can arrange follow-up sessions to cover additional requirements without having to wait months for the next Inset Day (or find an after-school meeting slot when everyone’s free).
It’s also possible that you’ll have more questions at a later date than you did on the day of the training – particularly if you’ve learned a new technique that you’re now putting to the test in the classroom. A virtual follow-up session is often just the ticket to iron out fresh concerns or bounce around a new idea.
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