Buried

Not dead yet. Yet. Not six feet under. Not yet.

Just buried “at” work, though I am not AT work.

Make sense?

Now that schools have finally decided “in person” instruction isn’t going to take place again this year and distance learning is now kicked off, “full-steam ahead, engines be damned,” there are lots of things that teachers are trying to do to make online learning work for them. As they adjust the way they do things, they are looking for ways to make it easier on the kids, and themselves, as change can be hard…especially when it is forced on you without any time to prep for it.

So, I have been getting ready for a plethora of presentations to the teachers in an effort to help them live in this new reality. Our software has tools available to help the teachers, but for a lot of them they are either afraid to try it or just don’t know what to do once they do try it. As such, training via remote applications is what we do almost on a daily basis so we are out here prepping and presenting, since we are the “experts” on a sort of remote learning.

Anyway, I almost forgot to complain about something today. Is this a complaint? Not really. Or maybe it is. I’ll let you know.

I am working on my next presentation that came about at the beginning of the week as a casual conversation, then a casual presentation, to a full-fledged and full-blown training of over 150 teachers over the next two school days (Friday & Monday). There’s a good possibility that more sessions will be added. The training will be recorded, of course, so there will also be video production after all is said and done so that an “on-demand” training video can be used in the near future.

Whew! I will need a drink after prepping today and definitely after Monday’s training.

 

 

Training presenters

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Every been to a training where the presenters were good? Every been to one where they were bad…or really bad?

I didn’t post yesterday because I was at a training and I didn’t have the forethought to get something written ahead of time. So, I missed a day (that wasn’t a weekend) for the first time in over a year. How about that? Well, that isn’t really the important thing here.

Training presenters are an important part to having a successful training, not only from the organization doing the training but also for those there to get the training. I have been to a lot of bad trainings this week.

Yesterday, took the cake though. The morning session was good, but not great. The afternoon was simply painful. I can only describe it with the following analogy:

You are driving along a paved road, making relatively good time at near the speed limit. You are able to focus on the road ahead and see into the distance, making it possible to make adjustments to your understanding of the situation as it arises.

Suddenly, you leave the paved road only to find yourself driving on a pothole filled gravel road where you are bouncing around so violently that maintaining any sort of vision on the roadway becomes difficult at best. You are so jostled and frazzled that it is exhausting just to keep driving.

The training ends by pulling off to the side of the road and getting out of the car.

Get the picture? The morning was OK, but the afternoon had nothing about it that made it worthwhile.

I have complained about this presenter/trainer previously, but the organization keeps running the person out there anyway. And those of us trying to get trained, just keep suffering along the way.

Planning

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So, I am doing a training today. Teaching teachers to use the software the should be using for grading students.

I am usually the type of guy who doesn’t mind someone pointing at something and say, “Do it.” I show up, and do it.

BUT, this morning is a bit different. I wasn’t a part of the planning of this and I found out yesterday there are all kinds of factors that could make this morning go very poorly.

First, this training was supposed to be to one district who requested the training. Somehow members of another district managed to get into the training. I think I nicely took care of that issue by letting them know that the training was indeed intended for a specific district and that they weren’t really invited.

Second, the registration website being used to sign participants up for the training says the training starts at 8:30am. My calendar says it starts at 9:00am. So which is it? OK, I am flexible and can go with the flow….except for the last thing…

Finally, there is a meeting scheduled in the room where the training is supposed to take place. The meeting is scheduled from 7:30-9:00am. Uh, that is a problem! Not only can I not set up and prepare for my training, but if the training is truly supposed to be at 8:30am what am I supposed to do with the people who show up on time for the training?

Yeah. This could turn into a CF real quick.

I know my stuff. I don’t have an issue working on the fly. Hell, I taught high school for 15 years. I can go with the flow with the best of them…but at least I had some control of my environment to some degree. In this case, I have little to none.

And on top of it all? I am wearing slacks on a Friday, which is supposed to be casual day at the office. Damn.

 

Please, stop already

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I am gonna go out on a limb here and assume that you can identify with my pain.

Have you ever been to a training where the person training you had no business training you? Either because they didn’t know their stuff or because they were incredibly inept at presenting the material?

As a former teacher, I of course sat through lots of presentations from people who were good at presenting but there was the occasional person that snuck in once in a while who really had no business being in front of people. It was a rarity though. But…

Good grief, almighty! I have become increasingly aware that the industry I am in now has  MANY people who should not be training others. In most cases, they know the material. In most cases. But, whey have no idea how to present the material in an engaging way. In a way that gets you involved. In a way that gets you to care about what you are learning. That helps you get invested in what you’re doing.

I sat through one of those sort of presentations, again, yesterday. Man it was painful. But, after it was all over and done, one of my clients came to the back of the room where I was sitting and gave me a nice complement. I was just attending the session like everyone else, but she came up and said, “I wish you had done that presentation. It would  have been a lot more entertaining.”

I guess I am not the only one who doesn’t like to sit through painful trainings with people who shouldn’t be training others.

Conference workshop boredom

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Every had to travel for work to attend a workshop or conference, only to regret that you went because the boredom is excruciating?

Yeah. That was me yesterday. And I have another day to go. Boring…

To top it all off, I have a co-worker sitting next to me that wants to talk about everything and has to say something about everything. So, not only is the presentation boring, but the person next to me won’t shut up and is annoying.

Perhaps I can hangout with the coffee machine. It at least provides something interesting, and I am going to need it today.

More coffee please!

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