Have you ever sat through a professional development session thinking, "This guy has no clue what happens in the classroom?" Lately, that's the only thought I've had in our pd sessions. I've listened to administrator after administrator tell me how to do things. What do they know about being in my classroom? Well, I finally got a break from administrators telling me how to do things in yesterday's pd session. Two pairs of teachers presented our staff of 21. As the first pair started, I thought, what makes you experts. One of them is a teacher of 2 years and the other of 5. I have more experience than the two of them combined. Then, they handed out copies of pages from a book we all received and were expected to read two years ago. Again, I felt my time was being wasted. To further irritate me, the next pair presented two teaching strategies that I'd seen a million times before. By the time they were finished, my blood was boiling. Why were people wasting my time? I had papers to grade and parents to call!
Our weekly meeting continued, and my mind began to wander while admin rambled about the latest test scores. I began looking around the room. More than half of the room was new to our school. More than half of the room had two years or less of experience. More than half of the room had come to me at least once for advice or direction in teaching, classroom management, student relationships, and a multitude of other issues. While I was blowing up over already knowing the material being presented earlier by my fellow teachers, I failed to realize that I might have been the only one. I never stopped to think about how much help the two topics covered might be for those around me. I also failed to acknowledge the guts it took for those teachers to get up there and present to their own colleagues... because everyone knows you're only a guru when you are more than 50 miles from home!