Thursday, August 10, 2006

Summer PD


I received a forwarded email (a joke) from a friend yesterday that really got me thinking about how lucky I am to be in the place I am in right now. The “Joke” which I'm sure you have heard before is as follows:

A teacher dies and goes to Heaven. When she gets there she meets Saint Peter at the pearly gates.
Peter says to her, "Welcome to Heaven. Let me giveyou an orientation first."

So Peter takes her to some beautiful houses.
The teacher asks, "Who lives here in these beautiful houses?"

"These are for doctors. They did a lot of good on Earth so they get a nice mansion," replies Peter.

Peter takes the teacher to some more mansions. These were more magnificent than the first.

"Wow, who lives here?"

"These mansions are for social workers. They did alot of good on Earth, but didn't make a lot of money so they get a better house." Peter takes the teacher to some more mansions. These are the most gorgeous homes she had ever seen. They have huge columns, well manicured lawns, beautiful stained glass windows - - - the works!

"These are the most beautiful homes I have ever seen," exclaims the teacher. "Who lives here?!"

"Teachers live here," says Peter, "they did much good on Earth and received very little money, so they get the best houses in all of Heaven."

"But where are all of the teachers?" inquires the teacher.

Peter answers, "Oh, they'll be back soon. They're all in Hell at a faculty meeting."


Although faculty meetings at some schools might be viewed as Hell, our meetings are interactive and time flies by. I have been through the "hell" meetings at previous teaching assignments and my only regret is I did not recognize sooner that the school is a place where teachers are the professionals. We need to be the ones sharing our expertise. Meetings need to engage the teachers and be generated by our respected colleagues. If student-centered classrooms are the expectation in our classrooms then teacher-centered faculty meetings must be our means of staff development.

PS> Advisoy link ------>Here


Ms. Feliciano said...

The video is great! It truly captures what PD is all about at QHST... and how it should be in all schools. Bravo!

Ms. Feliciano said...

The video is great! It truly captures what PD is like at QHST... and how PD should be in all schools. I've learned so many new and wonderful techniques and strategies. The teachers all have a lot of great ideas to share; I'm eager to begin planning for the fall!

I only wish that more of our facultly attend summer PD in the future; it's a valuable expereince for all, not just the new teachers.

Ms. Mayo said...

Great job, Brown!

And I think this speaks to the other thread about teachers leaving.

Back to the teeth metaphor-- these are not baby teeth we are losing-- they're adult teeth and as much as we can support one another, people need to make themselves vulnerable to ask for help, make themselves strong enough to say the difficult things-- advocate for themselves, the same way we teach our students to advocate for themselves.

I'm not sure that what Christine F. wrote on that teeth thread, asking us to think about why we left other schools, applies here. Most of us left because we weren't getting the kind of PD we get at QHST, we were working in schools that weren't working due to a lack of leadership, lack of a shared vision, and, of course, the unspoken reality of equity issues outside of the school (I can never understand how schools are expected to leave no child behind in a world that is set up to leave people behind).

Back to the PD...I hope that we're not giving the new QHST staff too much information, or not enough information...and that they're getting more excited than nervous about joining us.

For me, the most inspiring aspect of last week's PD was the kids. From my own Michael Zilber to Brian's kids explaining the Civil War newspaper exhibition to the TI kids to the D75 kids (and the gen ed kids speaking about inclusion)... when kids can speak about their work and their school community with such poise and that is amazing!

Fox's art piece was, as always, amazing. Maria Crowe makes all things seem possible when it comes to inclusion. Brody is superb! Her student activity guide for her session was magnificent. Nancy and I were beaming as if we created her when she actually came to us with such extraordinary talent. And that's what we need to remember. Our new teachers, whether new to our school or new to teaching, have so much to teach us.

And Brown, your own passion for the school is contagious.
Thanks for keeping up with the blog and posting the video.


goddess said...

I don't sit still well, and having been through many a meeting in my day, have very strict views on how a "formal" meeting should be run... Follow rules of order and it shouldn't last more then an hour, cuase you've probably long since lost your audeince.

We have inservice every Thursday for an hour and a half. Once a quarter the music teachers for the whole district get together and share ideas. These are the best for me. They are as inservice should be, teachers sharing expierences and techniques. The rest of the inservices I sit in the back and pass notes to my Arizona mom (who's a music teacher also)so I kinda like inservice. But often the things that are being discussed are issues that I don't have to deal with in my room. This is irritating enough. But what really drives me nuts is when they try to teach us like we are the students. I'm not 13. I couldn't stand it when they made us "teach a class" like this in college and I still don't.

Really good movie. I want to make art!

W Brown said...

One of the things Andy Hargreaves "What's Worth Fighting For in Our Schools" talks about extensively is the acknowledgement of teacher expertise during professional developement.

We develope by doing not being told.