Saturday, August 17, 2013

If Teachers Planned Inservice: Another Perspective

If you're in education, I'm sure you've seen the posts called something like "If Teachers Planned Inservice." The implication is that inservice is always boring (which it often is) and that if teachers did it, it would be either 1. nonexistent or 2. less boring. As a person who plans inservice as part of my job, I hope that what I have planned for you is 1. not boring and 2. useful to you. In fact, that's my number one and number two hope for every session I provide.

My question for you though is this: If you are a teacher, you provide a form of "inservice" every day in your classroom. Do you have the same standards for your teaching as you have for mine? I teach you only a few days a year; you teach your students about 185 days a year. How do you maintain the level of interest and relevancy that you expect from me? I'll grant you that's incredibly difficult, but it is worth pondering.

What I want you to know is that I (and many, many others) worked really hard to provide the inservice we will offer to you in the next two weeks. I will be offering sessions during back to school events in three districts and traveling about 800 miles. I'll sleep in hotel rooms some of those nights so that I can be there up to 2 hours before you. I'll stay up late many nights before that planning and tweaking to make sure there is something new that's just for you. I'll do my best to make sure you always have access to a technology device so that you can participate constantly but not so you can check Facebook.

So, I have something to ask you. If I do all this for you, will you do a few things for me?

1. Come to my session with an open mind and a positive attitude.
2. When I ask you a question, nod your head or verbally answer.
3. Make eye contact with me.
4. Don't sit in the back so you can catch up with your friend during my session.
5. Give me a chance to be a resource to help you be more relevant to your students.
6. Judge the inservice I provide by the standards you want used to judge you in your classroom.
7. Volunteer to help plan and provide inservice so that we can make it the best it can be together. (Thank you to my volunteer helper for next week!)
8. Don't knit or crochet during inservice. (Yes, that really happened.)

The truth is, I don't think we'll have ANY problems with ANY of the above next week because you seem to like the inservice I provide. I'm so glad you do! I love providing it for you and I'm honored to work for your district. You are always kind and welcoming to me, and I know you wouldn't really rather have a root canal than attend one of my sessions. BUT, I need you too. Look at me, talk to me, answer my questions, and tell me when you don't understand. Thanks you guys! I'm looking forward to seeing you next week!

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