Sit up, Gorilla!
An overview of a classroom management course on GorillaPD
I had heard about GorillaPD around last December and was intrigued, but I'd succumbed to the usual teacher refrain "No time!" over the subsequent months. Finally, I have a bit of downtime before my lessons start at the end of September so I thought I'd give the beast a prod.
Initial set-up and logging in is pretty straightforward. I've uploaded a video of how to enrol on one of the courses, so check it out for a quick minute-long overview or carry on reading of course!
When first accessing GorillaPD, choose 'Browse All Units' and in the 'Learning Area and Course' choose 'EDB HK Net Section' to see the courses they have there. So far they've created the courses as shown in the picture below and more will be added later. These courses are very short (averaging 90 minutes) and have a good structure where everything is broken down into digestible chunks, but with probing questions that make you stop and really consider your existing practice.
Always one for gluttony and impatience (I must get rid of these detestable characteristics), I decided to binge-enrol all courses at once and started to tuck into the Classroom Management one first. You have to wait for your Advisory Teacher or 'Mentor' to enrol you before you can submit your final learning task, but you can still make a start like I did.
I consider myself quite proficient on classroom management, having been on a myriad of courses or having read up on a lot of theory as part of my Masters. Undertaking supply teaching gigs at some challenging schools, as well as a pupil referral unit, in the UK amounted to quite a baptism of fire too, although I did pick up some good strategies. On this occasion though, I was still struck by some strategies I'd never heard of before or had clean forgotten about, such as 'The 30cm Rule' (using a voice that should only be heard 30cm away) or music to help students focus on an activity. It's good to refresh and inspire the old noggin.
All the learning tasks are in both PDF and Word format, except the Classroom Management one at the moment. You can download the PDF version and fill in by hand, scan and submit; or if you have the writing of a doctor with the shakes, like I have, then you can do what I did: I created my own version in Word using screenshots and text boxes, making it easier to type my answers. If you'd like a copy of the template I used, then you can download it from File Share on this site.
As you can see I haven't finished one of the last boxes because I dI’d n’t have any lessons, so I couldn’t implement and evaluate how they went. But at least most of this final learning task was done in less than 15 minutes, giving me some fresh angles on classroom management before the new influx of lively students descend on me. It'll probably take ten minutes at the most to finish the task and submit once I’ve tried my strategies. Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance!
Overall, I was impressed with my Gorilla PD course and I aim to keep the momentum going for the rest of this week. Have you tried the HK EDB NET Section courses? Comment below if you have. Keep the Gorilla happy and enrol!