PD. Also know as “Puking Delayed”


Like most public school districts in the US these days, our district engages in one or two “Professional Development” days every year.


I have been as “professionally developed” as I can possibly stand. Truly.

I do not want to waste one more day of my life learning how to teach children to decode the squiggles of reading. I just don’t.

I would so much prefer to spend that time with kids, teaching them about the squiggles. And the ideas that those squiggles represent.  Teaching them to write. To do math. To cooperate with their friends.  To learn.

But today I was required to spend 6 long hours using “protocols” to discuss the burning issues of the educational day. Issues like, “What are portfolios?” (in spite of the fact that our school has used them for 25 years or so).  Questions like, “How do we teach literacy?”. Even though most of our staff have been working for many years and we all know that we know how to teach reading.

It was, how shall I phrase it delicately? It was a gigantic waste of time and energy.

I wish that there was an easy way to tell the people in charge of education (whoever the hell they are) that the teachers would like to do more meaningful work.  We don’t really want to debate the finer points of the various reading tests, when none of thinks that we actually learn anything from the 12 or so hours per year that we spend on these things. I wish that we could tell them that we’d much rather talk about the best way to help our kids to be creative, rather than reminding us of the need to teach every child to write exactly the same way on every essay.

I saw four of my colleagues in tears today.  Want to know why?  It wasn’t because they worried about having to do too much work. Nope. It was because they all felt sick at the fact that we were all discussing the many ways that we have been forced to teach in ways that we know are bad for kids. It was because we all expressed our discomfort about the so called “Common Core” and the ridiculously rigid expectations of the kids. It was because we all looked at each other and asked ourselves, “If we all think that this is wrong, why are we bending over backward to do it?”

Parents, moms, dads, grandparents, neighbors of kids: you need to know that the people to whom you have entrusted the education of your children are almost uniformly sickened by the corporate takeover of public education.  They are almost uniformly opposed to the inappropriate demands being put on your children from the very youngest age.  They are almost uniformly brought to the point of nausea as they are forced to stuff your kids into increasingly narrow boxes. Boxes which were designed by corporations who want to sell more books/kits/programs/tests/packages.

It was a long, difficult, dispiriting day of so-called “professional development” today.

I don’t want to “develop” professionally any more.  I want to do something far more useful for both teachers and children.

I want to lead a revolt against the pre-packaged, corporate designed, incredibly expensive, narrow, stultifying curriculae that are being jammed down the throats of the very people who should be allowed to plan and design your children’s lessons.

I am sickened. I am sad.

I think its probably time to puke.  And to put in for a sick day on the next district wide “PD day”.



9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by 2old2tch on November 4, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I dance a happy dance every time I read another post proclaiming that the emperor has no clothes. Maybe sometime soon “he” will notice, too.


  2. Posted by Kat on November 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    As a seasoned teacher, do you think it would do much good if PTA members got organized and protested what’s going on in our public schools? Or, does it seem like a lost cause? This is so frustrating; I’m sorry you and our colleagues have to endure it.


    • I think that it would be absolutely fantastic for parents to stand up against the corporate takeover, the useless and endless data collection and the killing of all joy in education! I would be eternally grateful if parents would take up the cause!


  3. You know, if you could reduce your blogs to a few simple sound bites, you could probably hold public office and spend your days digging for gold in the pockets of the one percent. But, alas, you can’t — so you’ll have to settle for being a role model that inspires children to become productive members of society while keeping the joy that makes life worth living.

    You poor thing; such a waste…



    • Well, good morning, Daddy Bear! I think I’ll just print out that comment and keep in my rolled sleeve all day!
      I’d hug you but your a little scary.


  4. And how exactly, is it that I didn’t realize you had this blog as well… I have been so blind!!!!!! I knew we were kindred spirits, but now I’m completely convinced. Well said, my friend, and so similar to my own experience.


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