Monday, September 21, 2009

things to not say in a professional development meeting

1) i hope you really enjoyed playing that game
(you know, the one intended for five year olds. it was fabulous- really challenging for me in my late 20s)

2)we'll give you the gift of silence while you read this
(if you want us to read something, give it to us before the meeting. if you do give us something to read and want us to be quiet- just expect that we will be quiet. don't tell us to be quiet by "giving us the gift of silence". or just say "please be quiet".)

3) show me you used your listening ears by telling me what your partner said
i. am. not. five.

4) please throw this bean bag around the circle so we can get to know each other.

5) turn to your talking partner and tell them your favorite kind of salsa.
i. am. a. professional. with professional things to do at work that do not involve salsa.

6) we'll be coming around to take pictures of you in your classrooms playing these games. if they are really good we'll put them up on the blackboard site for all your friends to see!
ie: we will be checking up on you. and we think that using a camera will motivate you, like it motivates first graders.

7) stand up. hand up. pair up.
yes, this is a fabulous strategy in the classroom. i LOVE it. but now that we've seen it modeled at every workshop, please don't model it anymore. i don't need to high five anyone else today.

8) did anyone have a connection with this?
grown up language, anyone? how about: what does this mean to you? or even better- in your professional opinion how did you interpret this text?

9) we're going to jigsaw this article.
really? you think we're too stupid to actually read an entire article? or too lazy to read it ahead of time? because, i personally like reading entire articles and i bet my co-workers do too.

10) praise your neighbor and then thank them.
i know my manners, and i know how to teach my children their manners. you do not need to teach me this- please teach me how to be a better math/reading/writing teacher. that's why i'm here.

*long, long sigh*

send your own pet-peeves from common professional development comments my way. i'm thinking of putting together a bingo board so we can have something to do during the condescending lectures.

**i have good friends that lead these discussions, and there are people i really respect who lead these discussions, and i hope they are not going to take this personally. i know that this is what is considered a "good professional development meeting" and i know the presenters are expected to do these kinds of things. i'm not frustrated with the presenters- more with the people who believe this is the best way to teach teachers and then tell the presenters they must run it like this. the presenters have so much knowledge about one subject- share your knowledge with us without trying to "trick" us into learning it. trust me, we want to be better math teachers. we'll eat up what you're giving us.**


Sarah said...

I heart this post!

I personally hate it when presenters just read the power point (you know, and they gave us the powerpoint in a handout! I know how to read!!)

Snippety Gibbet said...

Forgive me but........WTF?????????

And did I mention the time I seriously needed to go see the doctor during a teachers' meeting? The principal made me stay for a while because they were teaching something new at the beginning of the meeting. Would you believe that I had to be late for a doctor's appointment so that I could learn the macarana? Talk about being passive aggressive. I thought my head would explode. I have no idea WHY we had to learn the macarana. All I can remember is that I was asked to do something that made no sense to me and seemed counterproductive overall.

One more thing. They gave you the "gift of silence"? Gag.

Anonymous said...

How about "you have this many minutes" (holding up fingers) to complete this task. Hate.

Unlimited said...

Not sure about if you had a chance to leave an exit pass about "how we could make this more beneficial for YOU, the teachers..." but we were at the upper grade version. I think there will be a clear delineation between liars and the people who actually want to get something out of their Monday afternoons.

Also - we were given the "gift of silence" as well. I returned it.

Anonymous said...

Bingo Game - Great Idea, but it almost killed one of my friends, a very good teacher. The Principal was Deeply. Offended. Friend got moved from Third to 5th,(where she had the top scoring class on the CRT's and then the following year was told if she stayed, she would be teaching kindergarten. She didn't stay. (She likes her new school much better) She was not the only teacher with the Bingo cards, just the only one who confessed and apologized.

Jason Buell said...

Personally I hate the jigsaw with a passion. I like the exit pass as long as its acted on. I've filled it out with questions and the presenter emailed me answers so that was nice.

I would describe my pet peeves as not walking the walk. My least favorite pd ever was a differentiation training where we all sat there and listened to the same presentation. Can you please, please differentiate the training on differentiation?

On the plus side, I was able to springboard that training into getting my principal to more often move towards a teacher choice model of PD and create PLCs.

kirchy said...

I just hate it when they show a data set way too small to read, read it to you, and then give you a copy of it to discuss with your collegues. Cut the time in half, give us a copy and have us discuss it.

Or asking for questions and then being insulted by the fact that there are questions...