Sunday, March 26, 2006

Getting My Workshop On

On Saturday, tired, hung-over, heart-broken over the alma mater's ruination and defeat, I nevertheless got myself prettied up and headed down to the County Office to do some workshopping. I presented a middle-school interpretation and application of a workshop I had previously attended, one that was full of good ideas, but needed tweaking to make it at the grade level I teach. Last summer I presented it to the Teaching Fellows, to much acclaim, but the nerves were still kicking because you never know who's gonna sit down, and yeah, I've been a teacher for about 3.5 years now, and the thought that I've figured out some stuff that other people haven't seems a little silly. Also, I was not listed in the presenter bio section of the program booklet, which I can only view as a clear slight designed to assail my confidence and effectiveness.

Both sessions went well, and I left with a number of takeaways.

Takeaway #1: Everyone loves "Eye of the Tiger." Everyone. You can hear it now. Duh. Duh-duh-duh. Duh-duh-duh. Duh-duh-duuuuuuuuuuh. Starting your workshop with it blaring and one fist raised like Jesse Owens leads to instant success.

Takeaway #2: Not everyone loves pirates, but most appreciate being exposed to the joy other people find in pirates. And man, I've got a lot of joy.

Takeaway #3: Apparently, if you want someone important to observe you, like a member of the County Board of Education, the best thing to do is wear a pirate hat and stand on a chair. They come flocking those flies and that honey.

Takeaway #4: When cute young women come up to you after your workshop and share pirate jokes of their own revolving around the multiple uses of the word "ho," failing to make a move is stupid, stupid, stupid.

Takeaway #5: My school schedules students and creates instructional environments better than most. I spoke to a teacher who has 35 kids with reading abilities ranging from pre-primer to 9th grade. I spoke to teachers teaching classes where they combined High Point levels A and B in one class, and another where all H.P. students were taught level B, regardless of whether it was instructionally appropriate, and yet another teacher who taught Special Ed and it was therefore determined that all her students needed the Basics level -- why purchase an (inferior) intervention program if you are not committed to implementing it correctly?

Takeaway #6: A big fatty-fat check, which I will blow on gasoline, books from Green Apple Books, and Pabst Blue Ribbon.


Blogger posthipchick said...

I just found out Green Apple has onesies (the little baby outfits, for those that don't speak baby language yet). I am SO getting one.

5:16 PM  
Blogger NYC Educator said...

I'm glad to hear you got paid. As a teacher, it behooves you to make as much money as you can.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Have you read "Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists" by Gideon Dafoe? I have a pirate-obsessed co-worker and she swears by this book and its sequel.



8:55 PM  
Blogger TMAO said...

Matilda, I've walked past that book a few times but for some reason never picked it up. Methinks I will, now.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous louise said...

Wow, another pirate. Love it.

8:16 AM  

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