Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Principal's Training Center

This summer I had one of my most epic learning experiences to date! I know that is quite a statement, but it was hands down the best professional development I have ever had. What was it I hear you say? The Principal’s Training Center. The courses are filled with the cream of the crop of educators from top international schools; the kind of people who want to give up a week or more of their summer holidays to learn. Oh, it was something else!

The Principal’s Training Center is an organisation that provides professional development geared at international school teachers, counsellors or leaders. In this blog post, I will be focusing on their principal’s training. In order to obtain their certificate in international school leadership, you need to complete a total of four courses. The courses should be selected from the following categories:

Category 1 - Take one of:
Category 2 - Take one of:
Category 3 - Take one of:
Category 4 - Take one of:

The course I took was Leadership and Team Dynamics. This year, as I was moving into my new role of primary principal, our incoming secondary principal, Daun Yorke, suggested we take the course together. This was an excellent idea and something I would advise any international school leadership team to do. It was an opportunity for Daun and I to get on the same page, get to know each other, plan our upcoming teacher orientation and learn about team dynamics together.

Photo courtesy of Twitter @tricia_mowat

The course was led by Chris Bowman. Chris was a principal at the age of 26 and has some incredible stories to tell. The techniques and experiences he shared have really helped me in my first year as principal. Just today, as a parent threatened me, I reached back into Chris’ bag of tools and got through the experience in a professional manner. I really cannot recommend this course enough.

Each day, there was a small group time as well! During this time, each participant got the opportunity to share a real life leadership problem. They would explain the problem to their group and then turn their chair around. The rest of the group then discussed the problem as though the person was not there. It was an incredibly valuable learning experience! And, what is said in the PTC, stays in the PTC!

The word on the course is that the lady who created and runs the organisation, Bamby Betts, only teaches the PTC 101 course in Miami. I hear this is very good. The others that I have heard highly recommended are PTC 301 and PTC 302. The courses take place over 7 days in London or Miami. They cost a small fortune of about 3000 USD, but are worth it.