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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Staff Development, the First

This year, we only have to do 14 hours of staff development (or as Ed U Cater calls it -- StD) for our professional traning requirement. This equates to 2 day long seminars. I took the first one today.

This was a class on the new curriculum for the English Language Arts/Spanish Language Arts content area in Dallas. As per usual, I was bored out of my skull. The highlight of the day was a Reader's Theater acted out by 3 of my classmates, in which one of the characters talked about being bored at the training and thinking about her impending vacation to Vegas.

BTW, that Reader's Theater was written by another employee of DISD, named Ray, and I wonder if it's the Ray that sometimes reads Learn Me Good?

Don't get me wrong, as trainings go, it was not bad, and the presenters were good at what they did (aside from the first one sounding annoyingly like Harvey Firestein). I just don't get up and excited about these things like many others do, though. Some people get a little TOO excited at these events, in my opinion.

The presenter started talking about the components of the new curriculum -- online tests, boxes of novels, access to lower grade levels -- and it sounded like Oprah Winfrey's Great Giveaway show. WOOOOOOOOOO!!! WHEEEEEEEE!!!!

A few quick hits:

  • Early on, the presenter made the comment, "This program is like you just bought a new horse." This made me wonder if we the teachers were going to be cleaning up a lot of shit as a result.
  • One of the guided reading books on display was about Helper Monkeys. I will go on record now that this particular book will be read, aloud, every single day in my classroom.
  • The word "slit" was used during the presentation, but there was no use of the word "moist." Not that these 2 words need to go together, they just generally seem to be 2 of the most hated words in the English language.
  • As I flipped through the Teacher's Edition, I was accosted by multiple misspellings. I would just like to throw my hat into the ring as a potential spell-checker for new curriculums (curricula?) in the future. I would only charge a modest $5,000.
  • Exactly when did "conversate" become a real word?
  • Want to go online and browse through a jumbled curriculum guide? There's an app for that! Yes, there was a little pitch for using the iphone to access the CPG.
At least I don't have to go to another training until after I've been married, had a couple of honeymoons, and possibly a few kids.


Mamie said...

"Conversate" is most definitely NOT a real world. It was coined by the same deliverers (is THAT a word?) of "StD" presentations who use the made-up verb "inferencing" - as in, "When you work with kids on the strategy of 'inferencing'..." ARRRRRRRRRRRGH! The word, people, is INFERRING. We teach INFERRING, which is the act/process of MAKING AN INFERENCE.

Congratulations on surviving your StD. I went to an all-day event for OUR new "core reading" program, and then, three days later, my district broke the contract with the publisher. Right move, it was the publisher's fault, huge issues, but... now there will be ANOTHER all-day StD for the new-new program. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Oh, HAHAHA! I see in advance that the word verification for posting this comment is "tonta" - the Spanish adverb for stupid! How appropriate.

Great "conversating" with you... :)

Mamie said...

I meant to say that "conversate" is not a real WORD... but real *world* kinda works to, eh?

Mister Teacher said...

Tonta?!? HAHAHA! Very appropriant! :)

Wow, broken contracts... and I thought MY district made things difficult...