Thursday, September 30, 2004

faculty meeting

Tuesday we had a faculty meeting. It was strange because all the teachers who were there seemed to want to be there, as did the administrators. I didn't feel any "us against them" energy. It was nice. The main reason for the meeting was to explain about the group of people who had gone around on Monday observing classes, and what they found. Our teachers who had been in the group were the ones to stand up and say what the eleven specific things were that they were looking for, and to say what they actually saw. They were looking for teachers to be interacting with students (there were a few specific points about this which I forget), they were looking for updated records and lesson plans, they were looking for the room to be inviting to students, and they were looking for certain things to be displayed, like objectives for the day and that damned "do now." Except for the do now, I agreed with everything they were looking for. Of course, in regard to the look of the classroom, I guess it is to be seen how subjective the idea of "inviting" is.
Three of the eleven classes they visited had most of these things. I don't know any specifics. However, the teachers were apparently pretty disgusted about some of what they found. They made a few little comments, but of course, they couldn't disparage anyone in public. It was smart, I think, to have regular teachers accompany the administrators around the school. It bridged the gap between us and them.
I'll describe my room. It's a rectangle. Three walls are black chalkboards (framed in wood), interrupted by the two glass-paned doors into the room. The fourth side of the room is solid windows that look out onto the roof and its various electric and hvac, um, things. I love the roof. It looks like a scene from an old and bad (but dear to the heart) science fiction movie. My desks, the old kind, made of wood, with the little armrest and writing surface (all for right-handers) are in a big circle. The floor is beautiful, wood, with years of varnish and such built up around the edges. It's shiny. My desk is in one corner. On the wall above the board there I have my John Lennon "Imagine" photograph, which I got in NYC one time. My candy box from Germany shaped like a cello. A note from a former student where she wrote the lyrics to "You are my sunshine" and wrote that she loved me. (It really makes me feel better all the time.) A framed photograph of Tupac Shakur. Two envelopes from a friend who sent me presents at Douglass (a new notebook and a collage he made). That collage. The Easter rabbits, one with his ears chewed off, one with his tail chewed off, and the one without the tail says, "My butt hurts" and the one without ears says, "What?" My kids don't get it. Down one wall I have maps of America, The Alps, and Antarctica. I have a huge framed collage of photographs of kids from Mandeville High. (My kids love to look at that.) My books, including the encyclopedias, are on the shelf of the window wall. On the third wall I have my huge world history chart. And right by the door, above the chalkboard, I have my "Big Brother Is Watching You" poster. I think that's about it.
Inviting? Guess I'll find out soon.

I'm taking a hiatus from disposing of things.

Melanie Anne Plesh

7 Comments:

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