how sad and pathetic is it that i have to pay for my own workshops/professional development if i want it to be of any quality or relevance to what i do in a classroom. now granted, i really like being in a classroom, in a learning environment with other people who like learning and see its value. and i love being on u of m's campus.
so i'd registered for this two-day workshop on china before being told i wouldn't be teaching world history for the next two years and i was looking forward to it. the presenters are fun and informational, everyone treats you like they're glad you came and not like you're a hamster running on their wheel, and they feel you all day long. really good stuff that's based on whatever area of the world you're working on that day.
so i had a good day. the really sad/funny/ironic part of it is that in that room full of educators with all that dedication and experience is this:
in my section of the room there were six teachers sitting in three rows, two to a table. i was on one end of the middle table. the girl next to me had been pink slipped by her district and had not been called back by the deadline, so she didn't think she was going to be called back.
they stopped calling back one person ahead of her on the list, her friend that had one month more seniority than she did. these two teachers had written and implemented the new world history course at their school to align to the new state standards and now wouldn't be teaching it.
the guy in front of me turned around at her story and said that he could get her a job teaching at a school...in china. she said she's got a family and couldn't go, but her friend was single and loved to travel, so she'd be thrilled to go.
the girl to my side at the table behind me had just gotten pink slipped again in her district, and the girl directly behind me had just gotten pink slipped by hers.
we talked about how professional development for our districts has got 'expert consultants' coming in and telling us that we should put fifty percent in for grades when students do nothing so that we can sustain hope. and that we shouldn't grade tests with anything lower than forty percent regardless of how many wrong answers a student guesses at.
we talked about axing programs to help kids read when they come into our high school world history classes with second grade reading levels.
i just couldn't listen to anyone else's story of pink slips.