Candid Teacher's Classroom

The view from the other side of the desk.

Dear Ralph Fletcher… December 7, 2010

Filed under: education,teaching — candidteacher @ 8:41 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: Today I attended the first worthwhile in-service of my entire teaching career.

That’s right, parents.  When you hear the words “Teacher in-service day”, you think, “Oh it’s so great that the teachers continue getting together to further their instructional skills, etc. etc. etc.”

Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.  Most in-service days or professional development opportunities are duds.  Teachers gripe and moan that there are better things they could be doing with their time than attending yet ANOTHER workshop on open-ended questions, which are already integrated into their lessons.  And yes, I realize that this is only my third year teaching (but I’m including workshops I attended in student teaching, too).  However, I know from hearing other teachers talk (and if anything, we’re a vocal group) that more often than not, in-service days are a huge time waster.

Today I was fortunate to walk away from an in-service with a feeling of satisfaction and time well-spent.
For this, I must thank the person responsible.  So….

Dear Ralph Fletcher,

Thank you for GETTING what teachers are looking for.  Thank you for giving us techniques and information we can actually bring back to the classroom and our colleagues.  Thank you for allowing us to have time to talk about the information you provided.  Thank you for treating us like we have brains and are already great at what we do.  Thank you for understanding the challenges teachers face in this century.  Thank you for bringing REAL student work into the workshop (since, after all, students are what teachers center themselves around).

Going into the day, I was excited for the typical reasons… I got to sleep in an extra 20 minutes since I didn’t have to be at school early; I got a “break” from the typical routine…. you know what I mean.  Now, I am excited to get back to school and work with the students.  Isn’t that what an in-service should really achieve?

So thank you, Ralph Fletcher, for helping teachers and enabling us to take away so much from this day.

Yours,

Candid Teacher