For me, a big thing that frustrates me about school districts is the lack of respect admin show for teachers.
But, PPT you say, they respect teachers! They do so much to make things easier for teachers! (Well, maybe some of you say that — some of you I suspect, do not).
Today I went to a training. Multiple groups from the district had training on the same college campus. They told me when I got there that we would all be starting in the auditorium. So, I walked to the auditorium and found a seat. About 5 minutes in, someone comes in and says “I need all the PreK teachers. We forgot to put up the signs, we’re on the other side of the campus! Follow me!”
We start 25 minutes after the time we were supposed to. We listened to people talk, filled out yearly mandatory paperwork, and then were told, “Now we’re splitting assistants and teachers up. Assistants you go to a building this way, and teachers you go to this building” (nowhere near where we were). I get to the right building after driving around to find it. There are NO SIGNS for what room to go to. We hear two different presenters (which started late because no one could find where they are going to). On our way out, we are told that after lunch we were NOT going to be on the college campus in the afternoon, NOT going to be at the elementary school next door (as mentioned apparently when I wasn’t in the right room) but would be at a local high school in the Art room.
Fine. I go home, because it is close to the high school. Eat lunch. Go to high school. Go to Art room, no one is there but a few other confused people. Walk around looking, finally find a tiny scribbled sign saying that we had been moved to the media center.
So, I FINALLY get to where I am supposed to be. We wait an extra 30 minutes for everyone to find the place we are supposed to be. We spend the next almost THREE HOURS doing a training on an assessment tool that is THE EXACT SAME TRAINING I WENT TO LAST OCTOBER. It is very basic. We have manuals with picture directions. I had to use this multiple times a week. I did not forget how to use it. I even know how to do some things the presenter didn’t know. Now, there were 10 new teachers in our group. Yes, they needed to be trained. But the 40 of us that are not new, did not need this training (I could tell by their frustrated faces).
Add that my room is not done, I have no assistant as of right now, and parent orientation is Friday morning, I was beyond annoyed. I felt disrespected. My time is valuable. Tomorrow I am staying after work (we have another training all day) to try to get some more done. But, if they hadn’t wasted my time today, I probably could have gotten at least a half day of work done in my room if not more.
I forgot to mention this when the subject of rewards came up.
I had a class clown when I taught 2nd grade. He was in no way disrespectful or mean and did not purposely misbehave (most of the time). But he loved getting the class’s attention, and it was not easy to keep them on track in the first few weeks of school.
I gave the student a sticky note, and I told him that when I go like this (modeled making a tally mark with my finger in the air) to make a tally mark on his sticky note. I told him I would do this every time he was talking out of turn, that it would be between the two of us, and there were no consequences tied to it. By the end of the first day of doing this, his sticky note was covered and he was in tears (which was not my intention). He had written “Bad” at the top. I told him it did not mean he was bad and that the only reason I did this was him was because I didn’t think he knew how much he interrupted his classmates and me. I said that I knew if he was aware of how much it was happening he would do his best to stop. I erased bad and wrote “Room for Improvement.” I told him that tomorrow, we’d do the same thing, but his goal was to have less tally marks. No specific tally mark count, just “less.” I said if he could do this, I would let him pick 2 jokes out of the joke books I had to tell the class at the end of the day.
This was the best solution to any problem I may have ever had.
Each day, the goal was to have less than the day before. It whittled down to a much more manageable number. He was proud of himself, and the other kids loved the jokes.