Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Professional Development Response Form

After an entire day of mind-boggling inanity, we received a form in our boxes asking us to give feedback about the professional development. The form has three parts, and looks like this:

FEEL: How do I feel about what I've learned?

THINK: What are the most important ideas? What's my evaluation of them?

DO: How can I use this knowledge?

The situation has become untenable for all involved. Over 3,000 students in a building made for about 2,000. (I got five new students today - 4 of them from outside our school. I only have one class less than 30 now. It's at 28.) They are now pulling inclusion support personal to teach quickly assembled, new classes. It's not even a clear-cut case of fault, it's simply too much for everyone. The school has no money to bring in Professional professional development, so teachers are invited to share strategies. These aren't leaders in the school or experts in their subject matter, nor even people who have any expertise in teaching methods. They are volunteers who want to share their "neat" idea, and for those who don't know any better these new ideas are very entertaining and creative. "Modify to suit your needs" is becoming the motto, but no emphasis is placed on data-gathering, nor any type of concentrated effort to assess whether these methods actually produce better student learning.

The kids, bless 'em, soldier on.

Because the air conditioner hasn't worked in my room since a power outage on the first day (I have no windows), the only cool air to be had in my room is from the hall. However, they removed my doorstop from my door because it was a fire hazard. Since the doors are very heavy, using a chair or even a rubber doorstop (which I bought for myself) won't keep them open.

Today I finally had to resort to using an old paperback book wedged between the door's hinge-side and the frame to keep it open. (It was too hot, and I couldn't go looking for something to use as a door stop.)

One of the kids teased: "Ms. Kudu, I don't think that's an appropriate statement for a teacher to make about literature."

Another said: "Maybe it's not a very good book."


Jose said...

I feel the pain in this blog. It really seems that you and your school's going through a lot. I wish y'all the best in your struggles.

Redkudu said...

Thank you!