Staff Development Days

What my admin thinks I do on Staff Development Days:

8:00 – 8:30 Catered breakfast in the Commons
8:30 – 11:30 Speaker on Rudy Payne’s insightful and pedagogy-changing works, including break-out sessions for small group discussion
11:30 – 12:30 Relaxing catered lunch during staff meeting
12:30 – 3:30 Professional Learning Community small group work developing curriculum and common assessment

What my parents and students think I do on Staff Development Days:

8:00 – 8:30 Mimosas in the Commons
8:30 – 11:30 Drinking game on Rudy Payne’s insightful and pedagogy-changing works, including break-out sessions for small group body shots
11:30 – 2:30 Relaxing lunch at a small local bar
2:30 – 3:30 Small group mocking of students and parents

What I actually do on Staff Development Days:

8:00 – 8:30 Coffee at desk returning parent emails.  Swing through Commons, decide against stale bagel, but refill coffee.
8:30 – 12:00 Surreptitious (then not-so-surreptitious) phone checking while speaker reads Power Point slides word. for. word.  Jealous glances at seat-mate who thought to bring papers to grade under the desk.  Contemplate engaging speaker in discussion of racist undertones and assumptions in Ruby Payne’s research – remember that admin spent 3 weeks this summer at Ruby Payne workshop.  Decide in favor of job security, and resort to veiled snark on text and Facebook.  Try to sneak out of small-group sessions to go hide in classroom to prepare Monday’s lab assignment, but get caught in the hall and detour to the bathroom.  Vow to self to allow students more time to get up and move as small-group session lasts until noon.
12:00 – 12:30 Listen to admin extol virtues of morning’s training and vague descriptions of implementation practices.  Wolf down half of a turkey sandwich with Cheetos, and glare at the backs of the coaches beelining for the exit and their afternoon practices.
12:30 – 3:30 Professional Learning Community small group devolves in the first ten minutes into camps regarding testing and teaching philosophies.  Sit by and watch the fireworks as three teachers debate vigorously whether reteaching on TUESDAYS and retesting on WEDNESDAYS obeys the “true” intent of the PLC, or whether this is better served by retesting on THURSDAYS.  Give up attempts to hide grading efforts and spread out over two desks.
3:30 – 5:30 Stare at unopened parent emails hiding between admin emails with scintillating titles like “RUBY PAYNE AND THE MATH DEPARTMENT: RETESTS ON FRIDAYS” and “HOW YOU CAN BE A RUBY PAYNE TEACHER: THE OPTIONAL MANDATORY SUMMER RETREAT”.  Refill coffee and set up Monday’s lab.
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One Comment on “Staff Development Days”

  1. Laurie says:

    especially like what parents think–I suspect that’s not too far from the truth…..


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