We've all been there. One more meeting. One more agenda to waste our time. One more bore who monopolizes the conversation with their negative comments and tales of woe.
I am thrilled to report that today's meeting was NOT that meeting. I started the week after spring break with meetings Monday and Tuesday morning. Yesterday's was a bust because the new IEP program we are using is apparently not going to be operational until NEXT WEEK. Thanks for letting us know THAT before our meeting. hmmm... yeah... welll... let's just move on from THAT wasted morning.
After yesterday's fiasco, I was skeptical about today's math department meeting. Sometimes, these are productive, but often times, it turns into a argument about who isn't teaching what where and why don't these darn kids just do their homework and blah blah blah blah blah.. and we leave, or *I* leave, feeling disgruntled and downtrodden, wondering why I even bother to show up.
The morning started with our K-12 monthly staff meeting, which I won't go into, but sitting next to a middle school math teacher, found out, she had forgotten the meeting (no criticism... the only reason I remembered was I saw my day off on the sub calendar when I logged in to see who yesterday's sub was...) But she found out that not only had she forgotten, she did not have a sub. I left the staff meeting and headed to the meeting room, where there was no one. Hmmm... Another teacher caught me and said he'd forgotten as well. (we must have spring break minds still...) but he was off to write lesson plans and would be right back. So there I sat alone... wondering if anyone else was joining me. Finally, they all straggled in, from their various locations. The people leading the meeting, from the ISD, got there, and we got underway, analyzing data, looking at kids, trends, scores, how we've changed over time in different areas. We had some honest conversations about curriculum, and where we need to change how we do things.
Frankly, I don't care if some people were just giving lip service to the process. I have no idea if they are on board or not, and as bad as it sounds, I don't care. I just appreciate the positive outlook and discussion points made. Too often, the negative Nelly at the table makes the folks who are willing to look critically at practices and make changes are stifled by the constant barage of negativity and despair. If you can't be a part of the change process, at least don't hamper it.
Today, I left the meeting feeling like we have a long way to go to be where we OUGHT to be for our kids and their math education, but I left feeling as if change is possible, and change is likely. What a refreshing feeling :)