Last Tuesday was a district professional development day, which I attended. It was really interesting, as it seemed to not only serve as professional development and teacher education, but also a chance for staff to bond and get to know each other.
The first part of the day was devoted to talking about the issue of gays being bullied, and we watched a video about a particular boy who, after being heavily abused at school, and the administration doing nothing, sued the school and won. This hit pretty close to home, as I went to a pretty rough high school, and had a very close friend there who was gay. The result was bullying directed towards both of us, as our friendship was perceived as a relationship, and some of the instances the boy in the movie experienced mirrored some things I had gone through. It's good that school districts are making sure staff know about this, and the repercussions of doing nothing when it is brought to their attention.
Following that, we split into groups and discussed a bunch of teaching methods, some of which I talked about in the previous post about learning tools- card sorts and flip books. The other two were on explicitly teaching how to take notes and summarize, which was good information. Following that, we had lunch and I got to get to know the staff better, which was great.
After that, we talked about effective ways to teach boys, which more or less boiled down to, "If you don't use that energy, it gets used on you." Good advice.
Then people from the district showed up and analyzed test scores. I was working on some of the lab work from the water purity test, so I didn't really get much of that, but that was fine. Give me a task, lab goggles, and plenty of cool chemicals, and I'm in my element.
By the end of that day, I was just exhausted. Maybe I didn't get enough sleep the night before, or maybe the 3 day weekend was just evil for my sleep schedule, but the overall effect was that of me being simply exhausted by the time I got home, leading to me getting a good amount of sleep before Wednesday, which was a big day.
Anyway, this type of thing is something I hope they do at whatever school I end up working at, as it's beneficial to occasionally take a step back and analyze teaching practices and issues.