My 2-week training is over, and now all that's left to do is practice, practice, practice and map out what I'll teach when. It was put on by these folks, and everything was so professional and well-thought-out. I also know from other teachers who teach the curriculum that you are well-supported throughout the year.
For 2 weeks I was in a class with 16 other varied-ability people - lots of time for reflection on how teachers respond to students and how different students handle their learning. Two people had their hands in the air basically the whole time - asking for tons of help and being a little gun-shy of exploring on their own. I'm wondering if there was something non-demeaning the teachers could have done to make them more self-sufficient. Maybe something along the lines of, "I'm confident that you can figure out the answer. Try 3 things first to see what happens and then I'll help you." or "Here's a hint, explore it for 3 minutes and then ask me." Instead, every time they went over to help them on the program, the teachers would take the mouse in their hands and solve the problem. To me that just kept the people helpless.
Another 2 students had already had a lot of exposure to the program, so something that would take me all night of homework to figure out, they finished during class. They weren't rude or bragging about it, but it was clear that was what was happening. But. By the 3rd day of our 2-week workshop, the teachers would frequently make comments such as, "I bet R. has it finished and has improved on it.", or "I bet C. has already figured out how to do that.", etc. As a student, that got annoying to hear. I'm thinking it wasn't helpful to either R. or C. because maybe they felt singled out, and the other students (me included) would feel that much slower. Then I started wondering if I did that in my class. I'd better stop it if I did/do.
Okay, one workshop down, 4 to go. Mwa ha ha ha.