I just completed running a Level 1 programming course for teachers. It was sponsored by Datacom and was designed to be the most effective professional development (PD) possible. Not only do participants receive training and resources they also have access to technical, pedagogical and moderation support over the following year. Datacom also kindly pay $250 towards travel and accommodation costs.
The course is restricted to 16 participants and was fully subscribed. I was somewhat surprised when one participant did a “no show”. I followed up with this person a and was advised that their school “did not support them”, this means the school would not, or could not pay the balance over $250 to attend. If true, that’s a bit sad and a bit of an indictment on the system! We need these teachers trained and frankly if the teacher is willing to give up their holidays then a few hundred dollars should not be a problem. Of course the teacher concerned may have just changed their mind and is covering their tracks. Regardless, pretty unprofessional for not letting me know in advance.
Footnote: Some of the teachers participating did so at their own cost – some schools cannot afford PD even when it represents huge value for money. System sounds pretty screwed to me. I hope we do a lot better with PD when Primary Schools start introducing computer science in Years 1-8.