Touring the District

10 March 2006

The district set aside today for staff inservice. In my days as a full-time teacher, inservice meant sitting through a variety of meetings, few of which were useful. Now, I get to be a gypsy, roaming from school to school...meeting to meeting.

I started off at an elementary in order to give my Inquiry spiel. I hadn't been asked to do this until Wednesday. (Nothing like planning ahead, right?) The department chair from my school joined me as he had several connections with the elementary. It was nice to have some company for my road show.

Afterwards, I headed over to one of our junior high schools. The principal there is concerned about the lack of direction her science department has...and with good reason. The teachers there are competent. They like kids and they like science; however they are not particularly intellectually curious or innovative when it comes to instruction. I brought some data to share with them today, thinking that it wouldn't be anything new, but it might give us a starting point for discussions. Sadly, they'd never seen the information. How could you know there was data on your students and not even ask for it? Why would you go nearly a whole school year with students without some clue about what their needs were at the beginning? Anyway, I think I successfully hid my shock...and we moved onto some discussions about identifying student needs and what we could do about that. I left them buzzing with ideas. I'm hoping that they'll move forward.

My last stop of the day was a return to Curriculum and a meeting with the Boss Lady. She is back from a month of medical leave and anxious to catch up on what has happened in the interim. She shared a voicemail from a junior high principal who just yesterday called to say that they need an additional classroom for science. Hello? Does she think that this will happen for next year (or in the near future)? The principal said that she knew that she'd originally said that they wouldn't need another science room, which is why that building was excluded from all of the current plans being made. The Boss Lady asked me why this was coming up now. I hadn't a clue---it was the first I'd heard of this. All I can think of is that they are anticipating some increased enrollment for next year. Perhaps we'll know more next week.

Lots of other small things came up as I circulated today. Being in education is just messy. There are rarely neat and tidy start and finish points. The questions and jobs keep growing. It looks like I'll be wandering a lot more in the future.

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