I suppose Laura would say that this post is of the type made to keep me surviving. Writing to survive I think she would say.
So, I still have my day gig. Still doing the coaching thing. Apparently I can still function while on the job. And today was one of those days that makes me think I might possibly get fired soon. I led a half day PD for Kinder through 2nd grade teachers. I liked it, I guess. It was ok, nothing brilliant or amazing, just kinda blah.
At some point during the PD, the enormity of what I am trying to do or what my district has been attempting, hit me. HARD. We’re trying to get teachers to understand writing, to embrace the writing process, to see beyond perfection, to approximate, to confer, to teach, to write, to think out loud, to gather small groups, to publish, to trust their writers, to lose control, to facilitate, to put all that they have been doing for years off to the side and try something different. Gulp.
No wonder we’re just spinning our wheels. No wonder I often get the looks of,”Whoa, this coach has no idea what the hell she is talking about. My kids can’t do that, my kids need an organizer to get their thoughts clear. My kids need a lot of structure.”
So I walked away from that PD, with all kinds of thoughts and then jumped into the fire when I went to the main office to read a jumbled email from a group of upper grade teachers who had apparently spent more than a week teaching ONE minilesson to the kids. ONE. That meant they were drilling and killing, trying to get the kids to master and write this one thing perfectly. GULP. Poor kids. Poor, poor kids. Sitting there, taking it each day, showing up only to have to practice the same thing over and over… My heart squeezed itself hard as I imagined the torture of having to experience something like this. Sure, I don’t mind washing dishes over and over until I get the movements perfect as dictated to me by some other person.
This golden moment, really sparkled when my supervisor walked in and saw the email. I saw her mouth open, then she swallowed her words and a mumble escaped. Usually she is so thoughtful, positive, trying to decipher why teachers do what they do and thinking of how to support them, but this apparently was too much.
“What?! Why? Oh, dear. Bam, bam, bam.” She faked hitting her head against a wall. That was all I needed. Perhaps my calling is to be an Oreo taste tester. Have they made pancake and maple syrup Oreos yet? How about glazed doughnut Oreos? Really I am in the WRONG profession.