Friday, December 15, 2006

Conferencing In Arizona

Areas In Which I Failed To Demonstrate Competence During My Professional Development Adventure in Arizona:
  1. Booked a flight to Phoenix when the conference was in Tucson
  2. Left my wallet at the gate in the 408, and then had to run from the back of the plane, down the jetway to the gate area, grab the wallet, and then head back on the plane, muttering sheepishly and looking like a moron
  3. Forgot the print-out of my presentation schedule and had to call my buddy, give him my email password, and have him search my inbox for the correct email
  4. Packed the navy suit pants with the charcoal suit coat and wore the mismatched outfit for about an hour until I looked down and felt like a kid who rides the short bus
  5. Forgot the jump drive with the updated AZ presentation and had to make some furious edits at 6:45 am
  6. Overlooked the fact that AZ is one hour ahead of CA time, and wandered into my presentation room thinking I had an extra 70 minutes before the start time, and couldn't figure out why there were so many people already there
  7. Did not pack contact lens solution and went around looking like either a weasel, or an alumnus of Ridgemont High

Areas In Which I Successfully Demonstrated Knowledge and Competence:

  1. Not crashing the rental car on I-10
  2. Presented our school's model for structural and instructional reform to a host of teachers, principals, superintendents, state-level administrators to much acclaim

Takeaway #1: I was left with the feeling that everyone, everywhere, is exactly the same -- we're all struggling with the same issues, same problems, same roadblocks to success.

Takeaway #2: We've been informally invited to return an address the ELL Task Force -- an organization appointed to develop a whole-school model to foster success in ELL populations -- and wouldn't it be tremendous irony if our model is adopted (to whatever extent) by the state board of Arizona, when our own District is basically repudiating every single aspect of what has made our kids successful?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Liz from I Speak of Dreams. Erm, TMAO dear, have you ever had an evaluation for ADHD?

Glad despite the brain lapses that the conference went well.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Joe Thomas said...

New reader.. and from Arizona. What was the event where you presented?

And to anyone who has not driven the I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson... not wrecking is an achievement.

Seriously.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

I live in Tucson too, and avoid the Tucson/Phx I-10 corridor like the plague. Congrats on making it in one piece!

9:10 AM  
Blogger TMAO said...

J.T.,

I presented at the AZ DOE's "ELL Ideal" conference.

6:16 PM  
Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Those areas in which you failed to demonstrate competence? Well, at least you survived 'em!

3:46 AM  
Blogger Joe Thomas said...

OUCH... then you most likely met our Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne.

He's quite the gasbag here in Phoenix. Glad to see he is putting together conferences on ELL teaching strategies. He is normally retesting them so that they are taken out of the ELL programs before they are ready.

Seriously, Horne hates ELL. I'm sure you saw a different sign of him at the conference. His public image is very, very important to him. He will most likely run for senate when John McCain vacates.

All that said, thank you for coming to the state and presenting your strategies and ideas. We work best when we work together.

Great blog, by the way.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Mike in Texas said...

Thanks for the laugh this morning!

6:54 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I finally figured out how to not be anonymous, at least in Blogger2.

A bit of a subject hijack here, but I just wanted to say: Happy New Year to you and yours. I wish you all the best for 2007.

7:38 AM  

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