Monday, August 06, 2012

Too Long

Eight hours today.  EIGHT HOURS.  Sitting on my rear being talked at.

45 minutes on the importance of [really basic skill I teach across a number of my classes].  Seriously?

It's not that any of it was bad, but it was too long and too slow.

Four more days. 

I wanted to fold my arms and put my head down on them on the table.  But I have just enough self-control that I didn't.   I squirmed, though.

And when we were supposed to be back at 1pm from lunch, and all but three people were there, waiting, I was ready to go.  Why did we need to wait for three people when 20 were ready to go?  I wouldn't do it in class.

Now I'm supposed to be doing "homework." 

This is one of those workshops that's supposed to help me be a better teacher, and I had high expectations, because at least one of them has done workshops I've found invaluable before, but this was frustrating.  Here's a hint for workshop facilitators:

1)  Don't make people sit for eight hours.

2)  Don't talk at us.  And especially, don't show us a really slow video as a "break" from talking at us, especially if the video is people talking and bad graphics, and way out of date.

3)  Get enough sense of your audience to realize that they've got your point, and move on.

And for those of us at the workshop:

1)  Be on time.

2)  If there's an abundance of research over many, many years, take a deep breath and rethink your practice.  The research shows that teaching or correcting grammar in student writing doesn't help students become better writers.  Further, correcting grammar may dismay students to the point that they don't try to write more complex sentences and ideas, so it may actually hurt student writing. 

3)  Don't share every single thought.

Time for homework.


  1. It always amazes me how workshops intended to help people become better teachers can themselves use such terrible pedagogy. Seems like a basic misconnect somewhere there.

    And YES on "Don't share every single thought." I frequently have this on my mind during interminable faculty meetings.

  2. Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. My apologies on behalf of my profession.