MYP Workshop Debrief

I just received the feedback forms from my first MYP Mathematics workshop that I led in March.

It’s mostly encouraging, although the few responses in the “Strongly Disagree” column really jump of the page.

  • One person strongly disagreed with the statement “Information was presented in a clear and organized manner.”
  • One person strongly disagreed with the statement “I gained a deeper understanding of how to achieve horizontal and vertical articulation.” (This was probably, overall, my weakest point according to the results.)
  • Two people strongly disagreed with the statement “I can use what I learned in this workshop to collaborate effectively with other teachers in my department/school.”

In general, the feedback was quite positive. 78% rated the overall quality as “very good” or better. 88% were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the workshop. Overall, I’m not too concerned if one or two people didn’t like my presentation style: I know it is impossible to please everybody. I also know that we (as a group) chose to focus on certain things, such as assessment, at the expense of others, such as interdisciplinary planning. It does concern me that two people walked away feeling that didn’t learn anything that would allow them to collaborate effectively with others, especially since the main thrust of many of my sessions were around using Zoho Docs to create and edit collaborative documents, particularly when it came to planning.

In the free response section, some of my strengths were listed as:

  • Very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Listened to participants very well. Led discussion well and allowed time to cover topics participants needed to know about.
  • He obviously is an extremely organised teacher with very thorough methods of assessing his students. He was reactive to needs of the group, was able to answer (almost) any question that was set and clarified some of the less concrete MYP requirements (the unit question/significant concept debate)
  • He was very open to people’s ideas – and as result participants were very open to share and accept feedback. He did not allow arguments about assessment to go onto long.
  • Kept the group on task, listened to everyones point of view, accepted the times when someone disagreed with him and was always open to other people’s points of view.

Some of the suggestions for me:

  • Some people in the workshop kept having private conversions during the workshop which made it very distracting. I wish he had a creative way of addressing that situation.
  • differentiate the sharing session by grade levels
  • some of the participants were a little disgruntled that we started things and put them aside without unpacking them or wrapping them up (eg. the newspaper exercise). That said, the ability to share our work and ask numerous direct questions about our practise meant that something had to give…
  • Make a summary of what has transpired in a previous session before proceeding to the next session.
  • More time is needed sharing resources and actual units of work. More time spent on mathematics and less on general IB topics.
  • I thought the first day included too much introductory information about the MYP as this was a stage 2 course. (Not a big issue but this would be my only criticism of the course.)

Probably my biggest concern as the workshop leader was my midjudgement of time. As two of the suggestions point to, we didn’t have enough time to complete the task and then have a discussion about the task. I had hoped that a lot of that ‘unpacking’ would have happened in their own personal reflections on the session (I tried to incorporate a different Visible Thinking Routine for each session, both to model the use of VTRs and to give some variety in how participants were reflecting upon their learning).

Any ideas on how I can address those suggestions? My future workshop participants – next up: Kobe, Japan in October 2010; like one person said to me, I couldn’t have sucked that bad if they asked me to do another one! – will certainly appreciate it. So will I! =)