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....
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