Yesterday we had a district wide Buy Back Day. It was not so good. It was the first time in my 13 years with the district that we had a district wide day, Prek-12 including all support staff. The idea to have everyone together was a good idea. The idea to present a one size fits all professional development day didn't work out so well.
Here is a run down of the day:
8-10: Motivational Speaker on Universal Achievement:
We had to sit on bleachers in the gym. (ugh...my butt still hurts!) The acoustics were bad. The parts that I could hear addressed self esteem and how to make kids feel good about themselves. (Gee...I never would have known how to do that!) To make matters worse, the man never smiled and he kind of screamed/barked when he spoke. That wasn't so good for my self esteem!
10:00 - 11:30: Direct Instruction:
The presenters were fabulous BUT 4 of the schools in our district have had intensive training in this so it was a complete waste of our time.
11:30 - 12:00:Lunch
Lunch was provided so that they could keep us hostage. The food was free but it was horrible.
12:00 - 1:30 : English Learners
Hmm...the majority of the population at my school and 4 other school in town is comprised of English Learners. This is all we do. We have had intensive training in this are as well. We could have taught this class!
1:30 - 2:30: Meet with school sites to go over the day.
This was actually the best part of the day. For as much as some of my staff members can get on my nerves, after being around other teachers in the district I found a new appreciation in the teachers I work with.
One of the breakout sessions that I didn't go to was also a flop. A technology workshop that was held in the computer lab failed because the teachers couldn't use the computers in the lab!!! They had to watch the presenter's screen and write down all of the instructions on how to access and use the different websites shown. Ha!
Here is my biggest complaint of the day.
Why would the district want to invest so much money on a day for us teachers that was not educational for many of us? I realize that it is difficult to find something that is just right for all of us with the needs that we have at our respective campuses. However, isn't that what we teachers do in our classrooms? We differentiate our instruction to meet the needs of our learners. The district could have done so much more with their money for us. They could have taken us to a new educational plane by introducing something new to us or deepening our knowledge of something that is already familiar to us. What a wasted day.