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Why our new courses are like liposuction

Posted by James Simms on June 12, 2018

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Do you sometimes find that your intentions, even your targets, don’t come to fruition? That somehow, and for some reason, tasks don’t get completed or even off the ground? I have this experience with my personal health and fitness. I am a lifelong participant in sport and physical activity but, in recent years, with the move away from school-based PE teaching to office work, I have gained weight and become more sedentary and I feel significantly less healthy. I notice people looking at me differently to a few years ago. I miss the sensation of challenging myself physically and getting out for my run. I use excuses such as “I’m too busy” for not prioritising my physical health or that “I’m too tired”. This is a classic case of resistance (more about this word in a future post) to what needs to be done.

What is written above will be alien to some with regard to physical activity but all of us experience the same with one aspect of our work or another. Giving in to resistance,  procrastination, perfectionism and real barriers often serve to get in our way and prevent us from reaching our goals. It is for this reason that the #TELteam and I have been restructuring how we present our teacher CPD. There are too many times when a good idea or project gets shipwrecked across the rocks of incompletion or resistance. It is for this reason that we will be changing how we offer our CPD courses from here forwards.

A feature of what we offer you will be the perfect balance between brilliant ideas and support and accountability.

Accountability has a negative connotation in education today, but it is important in order to get projects to the finish (or even the start) line. The problem is that accountability needs the perfect balance with support, resources, feedback and guidance. This will be our aim when we work with you but, make no mistake, the accountability part will be present.

An example of this is our upcoming Extended Writing in GCSE PE course. Instead of providing you with a single day experience and sending you on your way at the end of that day with a handshake and good luck message, we are going to provide you, and your whole team if you wish, a six-week experience culminating in a whole-department project that we will hold you accountable for. We will guide you on exactly how, why and with which resources to launch your project, but the project will get off the ground if you sign up with us. Therefore, the project will have an impact at the “outer edge” where it matters most.

It is for these reasons that we see our training provision a little like liposuction. As the relatively unfit man described above, I have four basic choices of what I can do to influence change:

  1. I could do nothing and hope things improve. We all know this won’t work and my weight will not fall.

  2. I could join a gym and intend to go. It might work. I might find some motivation and might get fitter but I have to pay every month for the option to make a change and the choice not to attend remains with me.

  3. I could hire a personal trainer. It’s going to be expensive and I’ll only get an hour or two a week of guidance but it’s more likely to work than the gym membership.

  4. I could get liposuction. Whilst a little unsavory, it is a guarantee that my weight will reduce. It’s going to happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to prevent it from happening. The only choice is the first one: to sign up.

Whilst no one at #TELteam would ever advocate for such an intrusive physical procedure, we do advocate the “liposuction model” with regard to your project work with your students. By signing up for our course, we are going to hold you accountable for delivering that project and, as a result, your students are going to directly benefit. 

So, it’s time to pull the trigger and try something new! We guarantee impact and we guarantee that you will complete your project. Join us today for our next cohort, which commences in September.

Want to know more about this course? Take our FREE webinar on July 3rd and ask all the questions that you have.

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