Saturday, October 3, 2009

participation points

My Saturday began at 5 am, when I arose [too quickly for someone with low blood pressure and no food in her system, but I recovered after some OJ and deep breaths] to get ready for the Teaching Social Justice conference two hours away. I did not return home until 8:30 pm, after dropping off my accompanying friend/colleague and joining my family at Mason's video-game-crazy birthday party at the community center. Even for verbose loquacious me, it was a lot of socializing; I am going* to bed at 9:15 (*but I'm retro-dating this post because I don't want to screw up the NaBloPoMo...shhhh).

A few words about the conference: enlightening, useful, inspiring.

A few words about some of the attendees (mostly teachers, a few high school students, some student teachers): inattentive, preoccupied, belligerent.

On the positive side, Ira Shor was a brilliant speaker, conveying relevant, practical ideas generously with care & humor. The workshops I attended were interesting and engaging, taught by knowledgeable teachers & professors who clearly felt passion for their topics. And the lunch provided by a local deli was scrumptious.

Unfortunately, there were a number of people who seemed to have signed up simply for the clock hours - they chatted during presentations, wandered out of workshops in progress, corrected papers during lectures, or refused (seriously - refused) to participate in an activity or discussion. Sure, I would have liked to spend more time talking with my friend Monica or strolling around the Resource Fair, or to have completed some school work; maybe it would have been more comfortable to not be involved in a particular activity or discussion. But I'm a professional - and a grown-up - and figured since my district paid for me to be there, away from my family for the day, it made sense to actually attempt to learn something.

I can occasionally be a bad example [see "Exercise," "Procrastination," and "Stalking"], but wasting opportunities along with other people's time & money?
That is plain juvenile.


Cheryl said...

I hear you. So many teachers exhibit disgusting, unprofessional behavior at workshops--sometimes it's hard to hear over the talking. Then those same teachers complain about student behavior when the kids do the same thing. Seriously?

Unknown said...

Wow, rather enlightening and reassuring. I always thought that some teachers don't care about education and therefore are very poor at their jobs.

Gretchen said...

That is just so very sad. I wish I could be a fly on the wall at the conferences my own kids' teachers attend.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

For some reason--and to their discredit--there seem to be a disproportionate number of teachers who don't behave professionally. It's sad.

brandy101 said...

As a parent AND a taxpayer,this kind of stuff infuriates me. Furthermore,it illustrates the coarsening/lack of manners in our society.

I am glad that you did enjoy the speakers,though.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

Remember those educator days at the bookstore? I used to loathe them because this group of professionals - THAT I ADMIRE VERY MUCH - was so rude & demanding about their free stuff.

I was always confused by that behavior given they are the ones molding the future.

I guess some just get jaded.

I'm glad you are not.


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