Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Totally Pissed Off In Sleep

I couldn't believe the fact that I woke up because I was dreaming about work.

As a new teacher, we were offered a workshop on a new assessment tool. Usually you go to these workshops to gain something for yourself to use in the classroom. Things are simply not quite like that at my school. The night before the workshop, we got an email saying that we will be the first group of people to be in-serviced on this new tool, we will be expected to share our learning with the entire staff at a staff meeting.

1st problem:

As a new teacher, we have a lot on our plates, just trying to everything working and prepared in the class. Who has time to go prepare a presentation for the staff?!?

2nd Problem:

We were TOLD the day of the workshop that we will be presenting to the entire staff. It’s one thing to be asked, or volunteer to present to the staff. It’s a totally different thing to have a presentation thrust upon you.

So the one who told us about this task is part of the admin team, and she is on an admin track, meaning she’s trying get into an admin position in the near future. Here in lies the problem. It is my belief that the admin actually didn’t ask us to do this presentation. It is this career driven person who decided it was a good idea to do this and told the admin this is what she wants to do. This little stunt is suppose to give the current admin a sense that she takes initiative. This woman decided the week of the meeting to say, we are going to plan for this presentation. Fine. A good idea since we hadn’t met up since the workshop.

3rd Problem:

She decided she was going to run our planning meeting. We gave some ideas on what might be good to include, and then IT started. She took over. She decided for us that it would take this long to do this part, we can’t do that part, we need to have this and that, but keep that other part out. She neatly typed up our tasks and emailed it to use on the spot. Efficient, YES. Our presentation, NO.

4th Problem:

We were told at this planning meeting that it was not just a little presentation. The new teachers were to RUN the entire staff meeting! Teachers like to actually EAT their lunch at lunch time, so typically, staff meetings are sit and listen type events, but participate when needed. This one is going to be a “working meeting”. The rest of the staff will need to read through parts of this new tool and report on what they learned/gathered from it.

I had no idea I felt so bitter about this whole thing until it woke me up from my sleep.

The root of the problem lies in a few things:

-Staff at this school is just expected to do things.

-No one is asked nicely or suggested to volunteer to do anything, we are just told.

-The feeling that admin thinks, Staff are unwilling to go beyond their call of duty.

-You can’t get out of something, for fear of backlash.

I really feel like saying in front of the staff:

“Welcome to ’s staff meeting. Since we were not asked, but TOLD we were running this entire meeting, we are up here doing it. I know it is your lunch time to eat but we will be giving something to read and do while you eat so that you can have indigestion. We did not in any way want to run your staff meeting and we also didn’t want to make you work over your lunch time. Enjoy the show”


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