And now, a topic on which I have absolutely no authority

A friend of mine, who teaches high school, sent me a message a while ago about Professional Development days.

As it turns out, those PD days that we loved as kids, because they meant a day off, do not carry quite the same lustre for teachers.  No, instead the teachers use that opportunity to develop their professional skills.

So far, so good.  Self-improvement, continuing education, dedicated time devoted to development — I’m all for that.

Then I read the list of professional development activities that were available to choose from:

1. Having your dreams interpreted
2. Going for a run in the community
3. Playing co-ed Volleyball
4. Participating in a Yoga class
5. Fitness with an exercise ball
6, Scrapbooking (small fee required)
7. Card-making
8. Basketball tips and workout

I need to ask you to ponder that for just a minute.

Of all the skills imaginable that a professional teacher would want to or might need to hone… would dream interpretation be at the top of your list?  Proper exercise ball technique?  I have no problem with these things as hobbies, or interests, or electives — but this is what teachers are given as their professional development?

If I knew my high school teacher was spending a Friday afternoon boning up on card-making, one of two things would happen: I would become deeply afraid of him or her; or I would become completely unable to look them in the eye without wincing.  It might even be a combination of those two.

I feel for teachers.  I really do.  It would take a far braver person than I to face a high school class if I were armed with naught but mad yoga skills.


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