That big baby part of me has been throwing a hissy-fit for about the past half-hour. I’ve ranted the same swear word repeatedly without, no surprise here, changing a damned thing.
This weekend I finally brought my calendar home so I could input my meetings and sub days for in-house planning and training. Because I am apparently as masochistic as the day is long, I opened my WORK email to see if there was anything new. Yep. There’s something new all right. It’s called 5 days of MANDATORY math training at the district office. If you’ve never taught then you really can’t imagine all of the pain and suffering that goes into having to write sub plans so that you can be at a training meeting which may or may not meet your needs as a professional or those of your students.
If you’ve never attended professional development for teaching than you’ve never encountered the hell that Dante simply forgot to add to the Inferno. It is called the Cul de Sac of suck. First, the room will be filled with some amazingly PISSED off teachers (spending 2-4 hours writing HIGHLY DETAILED AMAZINGLY SPECIFIC sub plans will do that to you). They will be pissed off because they had to write sub plans; they may or may not have a competent sub in their room; the kids will act like complete moronic bozos forcing you to spend the better part of the following day with them regrouping; you can’t go onto the next lesson because you can’t guarantee the kids will get it so you’re KILLING 5 days of learning (of which ALL of the time was NEEDED desperately to meet pacing calendars and key standards for standardized tests. Add to that the toxic energy in the room, being forced to bring EVERY EFFING PIECE OF THE ADOPTION WITH YOU, uncomfortable seating, and often sub-par trainers. There is nothing, read nothing, good about this plan.
Well… That’s not entirely true. You see, if the district office FORCES us to do this during the school year, they only have to “pay” the sub $150 per day. If they had to pay us over the summer for MANDATORY training, they’d have to pay us per diem. That’s right, a good $250-$300 for the day. What do they do with the amount they pocket from this interaction? Who knows. That’s right. Who knows. They want to know why we’re angry and it’s because the $150 they are “saving” is on our backs — it’s taking the time from our classes in more than one. It’s the disrespect for our time. If I spend hours making sub plans, that’s the time I would be using to assess student work, set up the class, or create new/different lessons. Instead, I had to find review material, put my class further behind, and be fully aware that my needs as a teacher aren’t important.
Needless to say, I just want to run away.