Monday, October 6, 2008

Failed Training

Parents may not know this, but teachers make the absolute worst students! I think it has everything to do with the fact that once teachers start talking to other teachers, all of our training goes right out of the window!

Every Monday, my school has faculty meeting after-school until 4pm. No, an hour and 15 minutes shouldn't be a long time to have to focus. Yet, somehow we can't manage to do it. This is the picture at one of my faculty meetings: At one table are the techno-geeks who can't manage to stop working on their laptop computers for more than 2 minutes at a time. Consequently, they are constantly leaning over to their neighbors, whispering, "What did they say?" At another table, you have the texting junkies who would need a dramatic surgery to remove their cell phones from their hands. They usually have the same consequences as the techno-geeks. Far in the back are the "Chatty Kathy's" who would have an aortal rupture if they were forced to be quiet for longer than 30 seconds. Those are the people who not only don't know what was said, but make those around them unable to hear what was said. And, as per any classroom setting, there are always the sleepers, the doodlers, the eternal questioners, the arguers, and--my favorite--the people with the glazed-eyes who manage to nod their heads at the right time, but never hear a word that is uttered.

Myself, I'm one of the glazed-eye people. Whenever words cease making sense, I start replaying my favorite movie in my head. So the words that the person at the front of the room is saying might make it into my ears, but never quite land anywhere near my brain. People have actually asked me a question before, I nod, they wait politely for my response, and I have to look around and ask, "Did you say something?". Yeah, it's embarrassing. But I must admit that when a specifice one of my vice-principals starts talking, that's what happens in my brain every single time!

So why are teachers such bad students when we harp on teenagers to be good students? Like I said, it's because all of our teacher training flies out the window when we start talking to each other. Teachers are taught to give information in small chunks and give the students time and activities to help process the information. But when my VP starts talking, he gives ALL of the information to us ALL at the same time, and we are never given time nor activities to help us process the information. Teachers are taught to give their students study aides or graphic organizers to help them have a tangible source of their information and a way to process the info. But at faculty meetings, we rarely get study aides to help us understand what's going on. Teachers are taught to check for understanding to make sure that the kids are following what's going on. I can't recall my VP ever checking for our understanding during our teacher meetings. And teachers are taught to not lecture--the kids don't learn that way. But what do teachers do to each other? You got it--they lecture!

I don't actually learn much from my faculty meetings. Usually I feel that they are a waste of my time. The only beneficial thing that comes from these weekly snore-sessions is that I gain empathy for my students and recommit myself to following my teacher training! Would to heaven that administrators could hearken back to their teacher training and stop the madness!!


Brittany said...

Yes, I guess that's kind of like doctors who treat themselves. Maybe you should have doctors teach your trainings? I vote for Doctor Cox from Scrubs.

lisa said...

I second that vote! Here, here!