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A Professional Failure


I started my day off with this tweet:

Like several other schools, we honor Martin Luther King Day by giving our students a day off while teachers spend the day fulfilling Professional Development hours. I have a hard time writing the words, “Professional Development” after sitting through what my school provided as sufficient development for our profession. Instead of writing my complaints about today, I think showing a video clip I took says enough. By showing instead of writing, I won’t have to relive one of the most wasted three hours I have spent in a classroom or bore you with details of a presentation that teachers used as a time to grade papers, complete purchase orders, play Words with Friends, update Facebook statuses, and I swear at least two staff members were napping. Here is 55 seconds of the professional development that occurred today:

I can’t help but think that this time could have been put to better use. If I had the personal days to burn, I would have spent the day in my classroom watching Twitter feeds and reading Zite. I could have joined a webinar or researched new lessons and apps to use in my classroom. If it is about the funding, let teachers give presentations on what is and isn’t working in their classrooms. Have administrators create cross-curricular committees and have teachers meet and create lesson plans. This one may take some gas money, but lets take a trip as a staff and shadow an excelling school. Like our students, ENGAGE us! Make us want to be better. Provide us with tools and resources we can use and that interest us. Don’t allow us to be passive. Make us active participants. Use the day as a pep rally to fire us up and get us excited about the job we do! Help us do our jobs to the best of our ability or stop creating plans of improvement until we are given opportunities to professionally develop.



About Anne Beck

A Middle School teacher disguising as an Ed Tech professional in Higher Education. My thoughts and posts are my own. Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid -Albert Einstein


8 thoughts on “A Professional Failure

  1. Agreed, and indeed how true!

    Posted by Bill | January 19, 2012, 12:07 am
  2. Amen!!!! LOVE this! Well-said. 😄

    Posted by Cheryl Meade | February 1, 2012, 1:14 am
  3. Thank goodness my district has gone to Moodle to take care of blood path training and the one about hazardous chemicals. Video posted, plus 10 question quiz. If you can take the quiz without the video, more power to you. Maybe you can suggest that to your district. It would allow you to have more productive PD time and still get those requirements out of the way.

    Posted by Christie | February 10, 2012, 1:50 pm
  4. I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. I’m not a teacher. THAT looked like a total waste of time though. It’s so sad. How can we expect the students to give their best when the system isn’t giving it’s teachers anywhere near to the best?

    Posted by Bella | February 12, 2012, 4:46 pm
    • Waste of time it was!! I want you to know that even though you are not a teacher, your blog post to law makers was a game changer!! I have tweeted it out with a PLEASE RETWEET because it alone can spark change in our educational system! I read articles and blogs all day long to try and make myself a better teacher and relevant to the students I teach. I have never read something so honest, heart felt, and life changing. Thank you for putting into words what the rest of us cant. Please keep sending that blog out. My children are 5, 19 months, and 6 months. As a teacher AND a parent, I am fearful of their future!! You ROCK!!!!!

      Posted by Anne Beck | February 13, 2012, 5:08 am

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