On Monday we had a department-wide staff meeting in my room and I felt the need to apologize to everyone. Why? Because the week prior I was feeling salty and frustrated and aggravated at having been asked by our administration to lead our ELA department out of the bowels of NCLB hell (I’m not even the Department Chair) and during the course of doing some internal, department wide PD I was doing, I was kinda blunt.
I was brusque.
Indeed, I was chippy.
And usually, that’s not me. But damn, my buttons were pushed.
I should know better though. I mean face it, in a way, teachers can be the absolute WORST audience for other teachers to teach. Every rule they have in their own room is a room is a rule they feel they can break when someone else is at the front board. They talk when they feel like it, take phone calls when they feel like it, and already know the answers to all the questions even before the questions are asked.
Forget about the tardiness factor. Sheesh… just show up whenever the heck you want, why don’t you?
And when you dare to suggest that they might in some, slight way be acting hypocritical for this behavior — even if you are right, you are wrong. Ya can’t win for losing.
Like I said… Sheesh!
This is why I have no real ambition to be an administrator. Wrangling teachers is like herding cats and sometimes, when the screws of NCLB are being turned and the district offices (and front offices) are looking to you to make academic magic occur on a data-driven level, it becomes exhaustive.
Give me kids any day of the week. I mean I do PD because 1) I can and 2) because I believe I have something worth offering. No magic bullets, but some good, sound tools that can help classroom teachers improve their own classroom practice while simultaneously taking more joy and positive, fulfilling, meaningful efficacy from the work of being a teacher. I do PD with a win/win mentality in mind.
But I work with kids because I love it. That’s where the soulful stuff is for me… and that makes all the difference between this being a job and this being my life’s work.
Working with adults in a school system — sometimes it’ll drive ya bonkers. I just don’t know why I can’t seem to remember that more often.
Yep, gimme kids any day of the week.