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I wondered in and tried to scope out the seating arrangements. I am new. I don’t know anyone. It’s been 5 years since I have been the new girl. Usually, a seat has already been saved for me at a crowded table full of coffee, candy and crosswords. We giggle and write notes and try to be quiet ( it is a struggle). But today I am searching for a seat near someone else sitting alone that looks friendly. Preferably near the back. I leave the customary empty seat between us and get comfortable. This is my first inservice of the year and an unwelcome reminder that my summer is almost over. I am not looking forward to my day of powerpoints and forced discussion. I am, however, on time. I brought a pen and paper and left my phone in the car. I was in the minority on all of those. Teachers, as a group, tend to be horrible students. I witnessed lots of text messaging, magazine reading and lesson planning. Some one in the back was rumored to be watching a movie on their laptop. The two girls ( ok, women) in front of me chatted so much and loudly that I could hardly hear the speaker. The teacher in me was tempted to shush them, but I suppressed this urge. Back when I had friends I was one of those girls.

The speaker isn’t so bad. She has a good sense of humor, gives lots of breaks and tells good stories. There are no powerpoints, and only a few forced interactions. We did not get out early. The bathrooms did not have toiletpaper. It is a good thing I can’t pee with a crowd anyways. After lunch I started having nap withdrawls. My chair got really uncomfortable and that teacher that kept asking a question about that one freak student was about to be taken out by me. If you have never been to an inservice the people that speak up to the entire group fit into a few categories:
1. I am the best teacher here, and this is how I already implement this.
2. Weirdo-Beirdo. Let me tell you about the cool robots my kids make ( did I mention this wasn’t a science workshop!)
3. The let me give you ever special case or exception girl. She interrupts every story or strategy to talk about this one kid she had 10 years ago. Finally by the end of the day the speaker starts to ignore this person or at least cut them short.
4. The teacher that needs help or counseling of her own. He/She has a comment so off no one is quite sure how to respond. Like now is suddenly the time to discuss her marriage problems or the likes.
5. Devil’s advocate. No one wants you to argue. Please shut up, even if you are right….we just want to get out of here.
Mostly I just sit there. Occasionally I will offer my 2 cents ( usually more in science than general sessions ) or ask a question if I truly think it is a legitimate and will apply to people besides just me. If only I had that attitude all the time. I came back from lunch with a cross word. Yes I know it is rude, but I mostly only did it during all those dumb out there questions and breaks because remember I didn’t have any friends and I wasn’t going to the restroom. The afternoon moved in super slow motion. She was still interesting, but my brain needs to be eased back into this kind of schedule. I drew little tally marks on my paper to mark off the minutes. By 3:15 I was catatonic and feeling a bit of sympathy for what my students will be going through in a few weeks.


spaghettipie said…
bummer. i can promise much more fun than inservices if you just quit your job...i'm going to be so bored when you go back.

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