I have officially returned to work. It is the end of day two and I am exhausted. This is probably related to the cold that has developed into a terrible cough. I think it is also, in part, a result of working too hard too fast. Let me explain this comment AND my post title.
Working too hard too fast: On day two (no students have arrived yet) and my classroom is already a mess because I have been pulled from one meeting to another and in between those I am trying to: find items that were lost in my classroom move, respond to many questions from my colleagues, prepare professional development resources and review routines and procedures. The meetings vary between faculty level, all staff, learning support staff and key teams. It is very easy for any staff member to feel overwhelmed at this time of year. I feel a little more overwhelmed by the professional development that I presented yesterday.
While it could be argued that my facilitating work is done for the time being, I am feeling the after effects of the battering that occurred during my presentation. When I say “battering” I refer to the teachers who behaved unprofessionally and caused more stress for me as a presenter. I felt somewhat better when I saw that several other presenters were treated similarly, however this concerned me too.
I work with some wonderful teachers and support staff I have met and read about some wonderful teachers on the internet as well. 🙂 It concerns me that teachers (who claim to be passionate about teaching and learning) feel the need to argue with their colleagues about strategies or directives that have come from higher up the chain of command. It also concerns me that some teachers don’t take professional development seriously. Teachers who sit in a professional development session, workshop or staff meeting and carry on a conversation with the person beside them or work on their laptop instead of paying attention are hypocritical. They would never accept the same behaviour from their students. It concerns me that there are teachers who do not show the same respect for their colleagues that they expect their students to show towards them.
If you are a teacher, or a coach or a pre-service teacher, here is an important tip. Respect EVERYONE, in EVERY situation. If you have something important to say and you want people to listen, you need to have the credibility of a person who always listens (or at the very least does not disrupt the session). It isn’t difficult to do. Really it isn’t. I could go into all the little things that you could do to make life easier for people and become an effect coach who people want to work with. However, being respectful of both yourself and everyone around you is at the core of all those little things.
Here is another way to look at it. If you expect your students to listen when someone is speaking to them, you should listen when someone is speaking to you. If you expect your students to say please and thank you, then you should too. Do not expect anything of your students (in terms of behaviour) that you are not prepared to do yourself. Put another way… Set an example.
My next post will be packed with resources for teaching vocabulary and setting up appropriate discourse in your classroom (regardless of the grade level or teaching subject). So please come again.
The Literacy Coach