Sunday, November 1, 2009

Open Communication

Our professional development session last Friday was really interesting. A couple of days before, the administration had asked us to answer two questions, anonymously, in writing: 1) What does teacher support at our school look like now, and 2) What SHOULD it look like ideally? Then at the beginning of professional development, everyone's answers were read aloud. Similar themes emerged: teachers are feeling isolated, there's a lack of planning and co-planning time, support from administrators can be hit or miss, there are too many non-instructional duties, professional development is not as tied to our needs as it could be, etc. It was great, actually. I admire the fact that the administrators not only asked for our honest feedback but really heard it. Better to talk about the tension and low morale than to let it fester.

Friday was actually pretty fun because we had a Halloween party in the afternoon! We played music and had all kinds of snacks, even non-healthy ones :) and the kids changed into costumes: Michael Jackson, Darth Vader, old-time gangster, angels, cops, etc. They had a great time. Toward the end of the party I took my turn supervising the Horror Chamber, as I dubbed the room where they put all the kids with behavior, uniform, and/or lateness violations who weren't allowed to attend the party -- and let me tell you, they were NOT happy about it. Hopefully it will motivate them to get their act together before the Harvest Dance in November, or they won't be able to go to that, either.

My left ankle has been killing me lately. I start out fine every Monday, but by Thursday I'm hobbling around like an old lady. I have very flat feet and used to wear specially made orthotics (sp?) until they disintegrated from overuse ten years ago. But now that I'm on my feet so much at work in dress shoes (they're flats, but still), I think I need to get new ones made and actually wear them every day. Maybe the doctor will give me a note that I can wear my sneakers at work?

Speaking of ankles, the P.E. teacher is finally off disability and is coming back to work tomorrow. Hooray!

The kids are off this Tuesday for Election Day. Teachers have a professional development day, but we don't have to arrive until 8:30 AM and we get to leave at 4:00 PM! Maybe we'll even get a whole hour for lunch, too. :-D

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