Wanna know what I did today?
(Where I learned a lot…obviously)
We had an “in service” day at my new school today (work days start in earnest next week) the ostensible purpose of which was to prepare the faculty for the upcoming switch to block schedule. Keep in mind that school starts in a week and a half, so the meeting is a little belated. I, of course, have always taught on the 4×4 block, so I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this, but I thought it would be a nice opportunity to meet my department, maybe pick up a few tips here and there, you know the drill.
I felt my goals were modest, but let me tell you, *woo-ee*, was that some bad professional development. We spent about the first four hours discussing the advantages and disadvantages of block scheduling. The trifecta of poor professional development was amply in evidence:
1. Spending longer than necessary on a simple idea/ concept/ subject.
2. Endless discussing and rehashing of something that can’t be changed.
3. Too much freedom/ floor time for the whiners and negative nellies in the group.
After lunch it deteriorated even further, if possible, by ceasing to be even nominally about block scheduling and instead becoming a simple rehash of strategies that everyone has seen at a thousand previous professional developments (T-P-S! Jigsaws! Hey, here’s a crazy idea, have you thought about putting the kids in groups?!)
I decided to use this time to focus on a little self improvement. I have a tendency to talk too much in meetings (and, um, elsewhere) and I feel like I need to work on biting my tongue and letting others talk. I need to tell myself that my input is not always that crucial and to let someone else answer the question. No, seriously. Really, you are not the only one who thought of that. This is difficult for me, so I decided to keep count of all of the times that I said something aloud in the session.
I counted nine major contributions to the discussion. I was doing better in the morning, but it all broke wide after lunch. A tally of how many times I started to say something and then restrained myself would be, shall we say, much higher, as would a tally of all of the snide asides I stifled, but we’ll let that go.
So, that was my day. I would like to note that I didn’t get paid for this lovely meeting; the new district deals in Comp Time, which Ms. W no likey.
Stay tuned tomorrow morning for the continuing saga of the desks…