Chap Percival has been blogging about some ongoing training for teachers in his Florida school district. One of the things he talks about is how the course is somewhat rushed and condensed. The teachers, many of whom are moving from Macs to PCs, are not getting a lot of hands on time. This seems to be a common problem for teacher training – not enough time to do it right.
On one hand I think administrators want to maximize the time teachers are doing teaching themselves. But at the same time a well trained teacher can do a lot more with the tools they are being given than a poorly trained teacher. Industry has a mixed record on this issue as well. I know a lot of people doing jobs that bill clients by the hour whose companies try to “save money” by limiting training time. They often also discard people after a while so that they can hire new people who already know the latest thing. But the really smart companies, and I’d hope the really smart school systems, know that taking experienced people and really training them well pays off in the long run.
But how do we get administrators, school boards, and a sometimes notoriously tight fisted voting public to understand all of this? I wish I knew.