I try not to allow previous experience with Baltimore City professional developments to effect my expectations ahead of time, but over and over again I find these meetings pointless, confused, disorganized, chaotic, and a complete and utter waste of time.
Today I drove over to West Baltimore Middle. All the Baltimore public middle school language arts and social studies teachers were crammed into a parking lot too small for the number of cars, and there was a lot of scurrying going on. But things went pretty smoothly once we got into the bulding. Two efficient and helpful young ladies sorted everyone out and got them where they needed to be. After our entry, however, the efficiency ended.
I sat in the boiling hot Cafeteria from 8:00am until 8:55 waiting for the "kick-off" session, scheduled for 8:30, to start. They finally got their Power Point up and showed us five slides in five minutes and then we went to Session I, scheduled for 9:00am.
70 teachers were crammed into a very small un-airconditioned class room with 20 chairs in it. The same woman who'd done the kick-off presentation was our presenter again, her topic the 6th grade curriculum. She booted up her laptop, handed out three packets, and then the internet wouldn't work. For 45 minutes we sat in the classroom while she fussed with Activex controls and then she said "you have hard copies of most of what I was going to show you. This session is over."
The session was supposed to run until 11:30, and we were let go at 9:45, having accomplished absolutely nothing. I don't see how she couldn't do her presentation/discussion by using the hard copies of the curriculum and guidelines, but whatever. Session II and III are this afternoon at the same school, but I drove home to avoid sweltering in that miserable building for no reason. I though about driving over to the March to work on my classroom, but they're using my room for science PDs today.
Why, you ask, do I go to these meetings? Because they make you fill out a bubble sheet for each session AT THE END, and if you don't turn in your bubble sheets at the PD you don't get paid for the day.
I'm already planning to be sick for the remainder of our scheduled PD days this upcoming school year. Ridiculous!