Professional Development Follies

Professional Development is one of those things that light up the stress meters in almost every teacher I've ever known. Bill Ferriter talks about it. So does Mr. Teachbad. Darren needed Google Translate to interpret the Educationese. What's my excuse? I have many things that trigger me and get my back up. Here, over the next couple of days, are some of those triggers.

Part One: The Blind Leading the Blind.
"Before we should implement something, shouldn't there be at least one person who completely understands it?"

Part Two: Death by Powerpoint Verbiage.
"The problem with most PP is we are combining two separate and incompatible entities - a lecture and much reading material, densely packed and illegible, slammed together with cliched or cartoony graphics, interspersed with every transition possible"

Part Three: It's time to play, Guess My Age.
"I don't want a gold star, a free pen or a happy message acted out by the helpers. I don't want to form a line holding hands and count out loud every other one. I don't want a condescending twit telling me 'Good Job getting to your groups so fast.' "

Part Four: Even Bowie would Hate the Changes
"Everything you are doing is wrong.  Change is the only criteria for success. Vermont has some pretty good scores all around and excelled when dealing with poor kids.  The only score we didn't do well on was "Innovation and Change." That earned us a D+."

Part Five: Gotta have a Mission.
The plan was that when we finished deciding on the perfect length and turn of phrase, the mission statement would be printed, laminated and was to be posted over the door in every classroom. The old mission statement should be thrown away - it being no longer relevant even though it was nicely printed on colored paper, laminated and already posted above each classroom door?

Part Six: Stepford Teachers:
Q: "If there were aliens flying above the school, how would they recognize the respect you show each other?"
A: "They wouldn't, because we would be inside the building and they couldn't hear us."