Back to the Grind

It was the teachers' first day back at school, and you know what that means:


On account of I don't want to jeopardize my tenure, let me just couch this in the vaguest way possible.

So today's presenter was from this survival camp-like thing that most all the administrators and board members in our district have attended, and evidently it's been life-changing for them, or something. They always talk about it like it's the best thing that's ever been invented and we should all do it (at our own expense, of course) and blahblahblah.

[I would just like to say that I, personally, have been to a survival camp-like thing, when I was a freshman in college, and I certainly do not have the same fondness for my experience. I mean, a trust fall is a trust fall, people, and Rappeling As A Metaphor For Life is really not my cup of tea.]


So our module today was about Leadership. [Did I mention that my trust falls were part of the EMERGING LEADERS PROGRAM I was in? Yeesh.] And let me tell you, rarely have I seen such a display of passive-aggressive behavior from quote-unquote ADULTS.

I really felt bad for the presenter, who walked into a situation that wouldn't have been fun under any circumstances. Teachers are the worst audience, and teachers after Christmas Break are even worse. But teachers who are majorly ticked off about [REDACTED] are like lions in a den. Mean lions.

Every question that was asked was aimed directly at ... erm ... persons other than the presenter. And hostility was almost a physical presence in the room. It was very uncomfortable.

I had a hard time paying attention, because ... well, it was boring, okay? And I'd heard it all before, like ONE THOUSAND TIMES, and frankly, Keanu Reeves could have been the guest speaker (an excellent idea) (hee, I mean EXcellent) and I would still have been like: yawn.

Part of the presentation was about taking 100% of the responsibility for your response to situations, but there were some people who clearly did not like that idea, or who were too stupid to understand the words in that phrase, because there were lots of questions like, "But what if somebody else causes you to be in this situation?" and, "Why should I assume responsibility for someone else's actions?" And while I did not say anything, I was thinking mighty hard, and here is what I was saying inside my head, "DUMMIES! He said you are responsible for HOW YOU REACT, not for the situation itself?" Which, I think, is a pretty easy concept to get, but some members of the faculty are steaming hot about the situation they are in, and they WANT to be mad, and they WANT to place blame, so they are NOT going to assume responsibility for ANYTHING.

I also wanted to say this: "He said that you accept responsibility for YOUR REACTION to the situation, but HE DID NOT SAY that you have accept the SITUATION. If you don't like where you happen to be, get off your tails and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT other than GRIPE AND COMPLAIN and talk behind people's backs and also GROW UP FOR CRYING OUT LOUD."

But I did not say any of those things. Partly because I would like to be rehired next year, and partly because I completely empathize with those mad faculty members, as I am mad about [REDACTED] too.

I wondered, as the speaker floundered about, trying to move along with his prepared presentation, if he'd ever gotten this reaction before. Because I know that usually people get all pepped up at these camp-things, and they're all like, "Yeah! Go team!" and then they go jump off a cliff or something. He must have thought he'd stepped into BizarroWorld.

And the culmination of all this is that I have decided for myself that if I am unhappy with my situation, I need to change it. To that end, I am totally writing a strongly-worded letter to my Congresspersons, urging them to vote NO on the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind. And y'all know I can write some nasty letters.

So the morning wasn't a complete bust, since I had all that time when I wasn't listening to compose half a letter in my head. And anyway, it definitely wasn't as bad as the last in-service.

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