that'll teach me to be optimistic

One of the summer's necessary evils is Teacher Professional Development. In my district, you have to do 14 hours of it - 2 days over the summer (this is in addition to the week-long professional development we sit through the week before school starts).

I was hopeful about my training this summer. During the last month of school, my principal came to find me and gave me a special catalog of courses to choose from because I was a "Master Teacher". I'm not really sure what the qualifications are for being a Master Teacher, but I was flattered she considered me to be one!

So I showed up kind of excited on the first day. I had chosen something titled "Closing the achievement gap" by a visiting professor from Michigan State. Unfortunately, the speaker didn't show up and the powerpoint slides were read by a district staff member. Boo.


I was cautiously optimistic on my next training day. But the title implied some pop-psychology drivel ("The power of the Empowerment Dynamic"). Sure enough the first FULL seven minutes, the speaker turned off all the lights and led us into some "centering" activity. We were supposed to close our eyes, breathe deeply and put all of our troubles in this imaginary box. Then we were supposed to pretend we were on a beach.

I was highly uncomfortable with this whole thing. The lady next to me fell asleep. Twice. But mostly people seemed to be enjoying it. Except me with my eyes wide open, as well as the rather large gentleman swirling his straw through the ice in his cup.

If this was what the "Master Teachers" got to learn about, I would just hate to know what kind of training the other teachers got....

11 comments:

Renee said...

I was a trainer in my pre-healthcare days, & I hated ice breakers & warm up activities like that. I always felt like they made people more uncomfortable than open.

Randy et Jan said...

I say you should start each class you teach with the same nonsense!!!

SharleneT said...

WHERE do they get this stuff? Who decides it's needed. People aren't stupid. They attend meetings for the information and don't give a rat's patootie about ice breakers. Some will make friends; some will not. It's life. I would have left.

Mommy on the Spot said...

Professional development . . . *shudder*

malia said...

that's so funny that the gal next to you fell asleep! hope you are having a fab summer!!!

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness!!! That is terrible. I can't stand ice breakers in training to be honest with you, but this one sounds worse than most!

It's so frustrating because I know there is ALWAYS so much to learn in teaching but why are SO many professional development things just simply bad!?

Megan said...

I love that cartoon! SOOO true!

LongIslandTeacher said...

I am a new follower! Love your blog!
Long Island Teacher

Rachel said...

What is it about trainging... the more mandatory it is, the more irrelevant it seems? So sorry!

Alysia Battista said...

Haha, too funny! I hate before school inservice days because they tend to be in a huge, freezing cold halls where someone lectures for way too long. Some schools have started inservices that are run by staff members (sometimes you get a stipend, you always get PD hours) and they tend to be way more useful!

Miss B, Busy Bee

Sophie @ threetimesf said...

Bleugh, sounds like some of the hrrible classes I had to sit through at uni! Yay for being a Master Teacher though! (Let us know when you work out how you qualified!!)

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