27 July 2005

Planning Ahead, Part II

The Elementary "Curriculum Day" in August is more or less laid out in my mind. I know what I'm supposed to do and need to get my presentation fleshed out and polished up.

But the next inservice day in August is for Secondary teachers (grades 7 - 12). The first half of the day will consist of two 90-minute sessions, one of which will be the mandatory Duane Baker PTL thing. This time, teachers will be split up according to schools, rather than grade levels. This is because some schools have already been indoctrinated. Others, like mine, consist of heathens that are to be brought into the fold. So, Duane will have different messages for different audiences.

I am supposed to have a presentation at the ready for the 90-minute session that teachers aren't PTL'ing. It doesn't have to be science oriented. In fact, the Curriculum department would prefer it not to be. And I haven't a clue what to do with that. Very soon, I'm going to have to give them some sort of answer. It's rather frightening, considering that I will have to present some area of "expertise" with all the brain-based strategies thrown in for good measure.

The afternoon is reserved for content area meetings. This means that for two and a half hours, all the science teachers in the district will be gathered together. I have a huge amount of things to share with them and work through...especially for the short time frame. Here, I'm only concerned about having to do the PTL stuff with them---as in model strategies or have a discussion. Frankly, I know my audience. And professional or not, this part just isn't going to fly. I'm not the only one worried about this, either, as several other of the content area leaders know what the groups will be like.

So there you have it. Two days of major stuff to plan. And the big overarching question I have about both is "sustainability." What little research there is on professional development shows that "one shot" workshops result in the least change in the classroom. If the district is truly going to make PTL a focus from here on out---what other plans are being developed to supplement the work we do in August? How will teachers be supported so that they can make the necessary modifications to their work in the classroom? And how will we know if it's really having any effect?

I suppose that those are really not my concerns. The Boss Lady and principals are those tasked with "supervision." But I hate to spend so much time and effort planning these days when their effects on students will be negligible.

It's about the kids, isn't it?


Mr. McNamar said...

Yeah School! Can't wait for the regular year to return. Hey, I didn't have you linked, my bad (good kidspeak there!). I added you this morning.

The Science Goddess said...

Thank you!

Maybe sometime I'm on your side of the pond we can visit.

By the way--if you hold out for a better contract, I'll cheer you on!