Friday, August 05, 2005

It's That Time Of The Year Again

The "dog days" of summer not only bring hotter temperatures, they also herald that annual pre-first-day-of-school ritual known to teachers around the country as "professional development." Teachers will be attending a variety of workshops, conferences, and presentations which are designed, supposedly, to make them more effective in the classroom.

Over at From The T.F.A. Trenches, Mr. AB has developed a handy field guide to the ten teacher types that one is likely to encounter at these sideshows. Here is a taste:
Cash-Cow Charles – Fashionably dressed and always on his cell-phone, Chuck is a young teacher whose tax bracket makes these trainings more lucrative. He lives for his night-life and thus doesn’t mind twiddling his thumbs all day to make the stipend.

Sleeping Sarah – Five minutes into the training, Sarah is well on her way to nodding off. She’s friends with Charles and they were out late last night. Every once in a while, she’ll drink some coffee and show her true colors as another character.

Dumb David – David just doesn’t get it. You don’t understand how someone so slow can keep up with students. You feel bad for judging a colleague’s intelligence but geeeez. Dumb David’s come in two species: introverted (only revealing their confusion during group work) and extroverted (heralding their misunderstandings with loud and awkwardly timed questions.)
Based upon my 13 years of public school service, I can affirm the truth and accuracy of each one of Mr. AB's observations. However, I would like to make this one addition to the ten types already listed:
Pontificating Patty - From the very start of the presentation, she interrupts the speaker with a question every 10 minutes, almost always off-topic, about some event that occurred in her classroom or out on the playground. She then insists on asking one or more follow-up questions. Meanwhile, the trapped-in-their-seats-and-badly-needing-a-restroom-break-audience will be glancing at their wristwatches and wondering if the presenter will punt and opt for an early lunch.
Well... at least we here in the Wonk family still have two weeks of blissful vacation ahead of us, and then it will be our turn to be "professionally developed...."
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