“Dear Teachers, Don’t forget, our Winter In-service Day will be January 19th. The morning in-service is scheduled from 8-12…”
8:00a.m., The Newbie: Has been at the in-service site for ten minutes already, has carefully selected her seat, not too close, but close enough for a clear-line of sight of the board and within perfect earshot of the presentation. Quietly watching the the Lead teacher, the only other person in attendance so far, setting up the projector.
8:00a.m., The Veteran: Just leaving her house.
8:20a.m., The Newbie: Mingling with other attendees while noshing on fruit, pastries and burnt coffee from the provided breakfast spread. Introducing herself and inquiring as to where everyone works. Expressing excitement about her first year.
8:20a.m., The Veteran: Starbucks run.
8:30a.m., The Newbie: Notices the Lead teacher attempting to settle everyone. Takes her seat, ready for the presentation to begin.
8:30a.m., The Veteran: Has just arrived. Waves to acquaintances she knows, shouts out a few greetings across the room, settles into the empty seat her newbie co-teacher has saved for her.
“The professional development presentation will begin at 8:30a.m. The learning activities we have prepared will take a full 3 hours…”
The Newbie: Sitting erect, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to be developed professionally.
The Veteran: Groans audibly.
“All teachers should bring a lesson and their P.O.S. to the in-service meeting…”
The Newbie: Opens her neatly organized binder and pulls out a printed lesson as well as her copy of the Program of Studies.
The Veteran: Awe shit. Having clearly forgotten a lesson plan and her P.O.S., she quickly pulls one up on her computer. Close enough.
“You will refine and develop new engaging activities for the lesson, so choose one you would like to improve…”
The Newbie: Already has made notes in the margin on how to improve her lesson.
The Veteran: Fuuuuck.
8:30a.m.-11:30a.m., The Newbie: Opens her notepad, takes out a pen, and spends the next two hours actively engaging in the activities and lesson development. Eagerly volunteers when the Lead looks for examples and answers. Takes notes.
8:30a.m.-11:30a.m., The Veteran: Opens her laptop, takes out her iPad and spends the next two hours grading work, checking email and getting the group off task with questions and accounts about the reality of what goes on in the art room. Expertly answers questions and offers up examples when prompted by the Lead teacher. Writes up her grocery list.
“In the afternoon you will meet to discuss plans for the end of the year art show. The session will last from 1:00p.m.-3:00p.m. The afternoon session is optional.”
The Newbie: Makes plans with others to go to the lunch place down the road. Offers to drive. Expresses her excitement over an art show that showcases her students’ work. Excited to help out in any way she can.
The Veteran: Is already packed up and on her way out the door. It was good to see you all, this was fun, I enjoy our get-togethers. Heads to her school to load the kiln, grade some art work and reorganize her paint cabinet.
Note: The above, while based on real events, is a dramatization. Please don’t personally attack me for my don’t-give-a-shit attitude or assume that the above expresses my actual behavior. Also, you’re awesome, A.S., keep up the good work.
Check out more day in the life posts.