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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

To Shuffle or Not to Shuffle?

[#facilitation + grouping: to shuffle or not to shuffle?] I think facilitators (especially in education and PD) are known for mixing up groups - whether participants want it or not! (Check the P.S. for a bit of banter about it).

Do you have any hard rules for mixing or not mixing groups?

I’m all for mixing groups up, but not always. Here I share some (not all) the reasons why I won’t mix a group of teachers up for a workshop:

1 - They're are from the same school but don't have lots of learning time together

2 - The topic of the training is very relevant to their department as a team  

3 - They're already in harmonious groups that feel good

4 - The workshop purpose doesn't involve networking  

5 - I’ve trained them before and know the group well

6 - Participants are already shuffled up enough

7 - Nobody is in the mood to move

8 - It will take far too long

The last one there: even if it takes 15-20 minutes I will often still go ahead and shuffle a group because there are other reasons why it is so important.

But today, at ALNOOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL in #Bahrain, it was one of those occasions where I entered the room and everyone was in their groups, poised, content, and ready to learn together. It was awesome.

So here's sending a special thanks to the SLT & teaching team who are using Cambridge University Press & Assessment #resources. The last time I trained with this team was 2019, and it was great to reconnect with some of those same teachers again today. A teacher sent me the last two photos in this batch, which are a throwback to our 2019 training together, conducted almost 4 (!) years ago in the same building. Time flies! :)

P.S. Here's that funny reel about teacher reluctance to move seats 😅:

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