Friday, April 15, 2016

Allergic to PD

In our school we have a monthly PD day. That's how we get all the indispensable info Carmen Fariña, who loves her some PD, insists we get. After all, when you're at 200% capacity or more forever, you can't just roll the 80 minute teacher torture on Monday, or even the 75 minute Tuesday. So you shorten the day once a month and hope for the best.

On Wednesday we had some woman from some company talk about formative assessment. You know, that's when you figure out what the kids know before you grade them, so they can do better. This is, of course, an absolute necessity when dealing with kids, especially if they are troubled. On the other hand, the same supervisors who so revere this process will do drive-bys on working teachers, label them ineffective, do nothing whatsoever to help them, and helpfully suggest they ought to resign or retire. Because rigor and grit.

So anyway, we were sitting there listening to this woman read a laundry list of ways you could do formative assessment. You know, because simply handing us the booklet and asking us to read it would not earn her company the big bucks they get for sending the likes of her in here. My friend, a language teacher, was sitting next to me and we suddenly noticed her skin was turning red. We couldn't figure why. She had eaten what she usually eats for lunch.

We moved on, and I got called into an impromptu conference with my supervisor. My friend knocked on the door. She was worse. She wanted to drive home. I told her no, let me take you to the urgent care. I asked Siri, who directed me to one half a mile away. I took her over and stayed with her until her husband came to meet her.

I went back to a PD run by teachers, which was better thought out in every way than the one for which our school likely paid a fortune. "Boy, this place is hard to find," I said, but I'm not at all sure anyone believed me. After all, I've been in that building over 20 years. But that always seems like a good excuse to me, at least.

An hour later, my friend showed up back at the school, looking a little woozy, but a lot clearer. She told us they'd given her a steroid shot but released her. She also waved around a note which she claimed the doctor issued, declaring she was allergic to PD. I'm not at all sure it really said that, but if it did, I'm pretty sure there will be a stampede as 220 more teachers rush to that urgent care, even if the co-pay is up to 50 bucks.

After all, you get what you pay for.
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