Ugggghhhh Teacher inservice days. Professional development can be a really awesome thing, but there are times where it can be a very bad, horrible, no good thing. For example, our school district gave the kids Columbus day off and reserved it as a day for professional development for the staff. Up to date, our school’s track record is awesome. Our last ones had the interesting tech stuff I talked about a while back, and I left feeling like I got a lot of really great resources out of that one. This past workday started with potential. To start, we had a guest speaker come in and talk about formative assessments – which was actually pretty good. (As a student teacher who JUST took a class on formative assessments, some was repetitive, but I get that this is for the collective whole…plus it really was pretty good) The speaker had a lot of info, good examples, and I left feeling like I got something out of it.

Then, came lunch, which is always my favorite time. Sidebar – the people in my social studies department are awesome. I only hope that when I get a job, i’ll be lucky enough to find a team like this. It’s so funny how commiserating with people can make everything better.Back to the point – after lunch came misery.

The next three hours of my life was filled with workshop training on how to use the new macbook pros all the teachers got. Yes – quite aware at how incredibly LUCKY they are to have gotten brand new laptops in this economy. The problem was just there was no way out for people who already know how to work a macs, or anything productive for them to do. Yes – I’m a mac snob, BUT instead of forcing me to go through the same training as people who’ve never touched them, why not provide more in-depth training on how to incorporate mac technologies…i.e. Garageband and imovie…into the classroom? OR, even better – let me help people who don’t understand during the workshop. I think the tech gurus were a little hesitant to let anyone besides themselves trouble start or help people perform basic functions, but those of us familiar with it could have helped! I mean come on, the student teachers are all mid 20’s and have grown up with computers. If anyone could assist, it’d be us. (Plus all the student teachers had to take a tech class in grad school and conveniently all have macs)

I’m noting how bitter I sound in this post, but I think my hang up is just that if I’m going to be there and can’t plan – I really want to learn something, and I felt like our time could have been better used. I wish there was a way to poll teachers and ask around to see what workshops they do and don’t want. Do some schools do that or is that unheard of?

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Wait Time = My Everest
Posted by newbie-tchr at 5:05 pm in Classroom management, Time!

Out of all the observations that have come back to me so far, the number one area that “needs improvement,” is wait time. What’s wait time, you say? Only the most impossible thing ever for someone who has no patience for it. In dealing with talkers and those not paying attention, the powers that be have advised me to practice “waiting” for the students to be quiet. Stand up front, and literally wait for them to shut-up, while watching the clock. Not only do I keep forgetting to do this, but it kills me inside. The entire time I’m standing up there waiting, I’m having to hold back what I really want to do – which is to tell them to sit down and be quiet AND i’m counting the precious moments I have left to cover content. With planned testing, I only have so long to cover all my content before an exam, and the entire time the seconds are draining by I’m thinking of how I’m going to make everything fit for the rest of class. Out of respect/desperation, I’m going to try this…I even wrote “wait time” on a piece of paper in the back of the classroom to remind me. But I have to admit, I never thought that waiting for anything would be as hard as this is.

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