Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fun at the Algebra Academy.....

Professional development is vital for teachers.  Ahem, let me rephrase that.  Valuable professional development is vital for teachers.  Not the run-of-the-mill "we didn't pass AYP so we're going to repackage the same old stuff and regurgitate it to you again so we can say we're doing something" type.  I spent the last two days learning all about background knowledge, differentiated instruction, graphic organizers, reading and writing in math, formative assessments and dealing with total boredom.  (As you know, Writer, I've already had extensive trainings on the above mentioned subjects.  As had many, if not all, of the other teachers in the academy).  So, 12 hours of rehashing stuff I've gone over in the last 3 schools I've been at.  Yawnfest Ought-nine.  The good things about my last 2 days:

  1. I ran into a bunch of old friends from the various schools I've been at.

  2. I got to get to know the Math teacher's I'll be working with better.

  3. $200 a day for the two days.

  4. Free, and good, lunch.

  5. Relicensure points.

  6. Lane change credits.

  7. The academy continues through the entire school year.  Once a month.  Now, from the way I described my last two days, maybe that's not such a good thing, eh?  If they keep their promise, then it is a good thing.  Their promise that at the monthly meetings we will get actual activities to do in our classrooms.  Ones that we will be expected to try out over the next month and report back on when we meet again.  This is good.  Some of the biggest complaints I've heard about professional development is "yeah, great ideas, but how do I put them to work?"  We are, theoretically, going to be given ways to put them to work.  Some may be good, some may suck.  But at least with the ones that suck, I'll be able to come back next month and tell them "that sucked."  Well, I'm off.  I've got only 2 more days of total freedom (no school, no Chevron, no church) before I show up for faculty meeting.  Gotta make the best of them....
post signature


A Paperback Writer said...

It's not LIFE training, is it?
Oh my heck. We had that stuff two years ago and the faculty just about mutineyed! We've never forgiven the principal for it. And we still have jokes about the people who "taught" us.
As for the yawnfest 09, you just listed off all the main reasons that I moved to Scotland and got my master's in English instead of education. I knew that if I had to sit through any more of the same stuff I'd learned in my first year of college, I'd be in prison for homicide before the year was out. Boredom'll do that to you.
I recall the summer of '97 where we had ESL certification classes 8hours a day, 4 days a week, for 7 weeks. And I learned not a single thing that I didn't already know from minoring in teaching Spanish. Only the fact that a lot of us from our school were there, and we raised a good deal of *&^% for the instructors kept me from going insane.
I don't go back until Wednesday of next week.

Max said...

Remember the SIOPS training the last year I was at your school? When Ed.Equity came in and taught us all these great ways to teach ESL and minority students. And we all thought "Hmmm, those are great methods for ALL students, and we're already doing them." Yeah, if it weren't for an entire faculty in agreement with me, I would have gone postal. And as for ESL classes, I went through the 3 year DEEEP program. People who dropped out after the first year were talked into coming back for the third, and last, year, and given the exact same endorsement I got. Worst part, the middle year they misses was the only year we actually learned anything. Ok, DEEEP breath, let it go now.
I don't go back until Wednesday either, but I'm at Chevron on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.

Max said...

P.S. - I can just imagine your faculty at yet another training of stuff they have been doing for years.... woulda paid to be there to see it.

Jannx said...

Differentiated instruction for 5 or 6 I'm embarassed to say that I haven't been all that successful with one. I really have to get my act together this coming school year.

A Paperback Writer said...

We had fun with that DEEEP acronym, too. ;)
Funny, though.
Okay, your Chevron schedule makes your post comment make more sense. Well, enjoy your free-day Friday, then.

Max said...

Jannx - yeah, except there's a big difference between working on it and being effective with it. I guess I've had some success, but I'm hoping on getting some good activities from the rest of the year.
Writer - lot's of fun with the DEEEP anacronym - we came up with something that added S, H, I and a T to the end of DEEEP, but I can't find the book now and don't remember.