A teacher's job is to encourage students to become lifelong learners. The best way to do this is to make sure that the teacher herself is a lifelong learner who never stops gathering knowledge. Workshops allow teachers to continue to learn, practice new skills and work toward a higher educational degree.
Practicing with Technology
Workshops should include time to practice with new technologies that are important to schools. Have teachers work with computers, design PowerPoint presentations, or create other venues to show off technical skills. This is important for instruction and learning of technology.
One of the basic fundamentals for any age level or class is writing. Begin each workshop with a journal exercise. Give teachers a subject prompt based on whatever will be discussed that session, whether it is classroom management or specific course work. When the journaling time is complete, ask whether any teachers would like to share what they've written.
Just like their students, teachers can benefit from hands-on learning opportunities. Divide teachers into groups and have them complete several stations that you would typically find at the age level they teach. While teachers are using blocks, geometry shapes, art supplies or manipulative items, they will discover pros and cons to using those items in their classroom. They will be better able to use these tools if they have practiced beforehand.
When teachers sit together in a group, they undoubtedly will come up with ideas to pass around. Dividing teachers into groups of mixed gender, subject and age level will give them the opportunity to talk to one another about their classrooms. As participants swap behavior management stories, interesting lesson ideas and techniques for teaching, they will be learning more than they are aware of.
Participating in teacher workshops is usually a requirement, so many teachers fail to see the benefits. Workshops help teachers understand their curriculum and help them practice giving that information to students. Workshops also can help teachers learn new methods of teaching and better understand district, state and national standards.