Sunday, November 18, 2007

When You Miss The Meeting...

Last August a number of my colleagues and I gave up three days of our summer vacation in order that we might receive training in safety management skills.  This training would certify us to teach the course to other staff people in the district, thus satisfying any number of state requirements and making the world a safer place for students everywhere.

They also said they'd pay us to do it.  This was a significant factor in my decision making process when considering whether or not to become a certified instructor.  

Months have passed.  The time has come.  We must now use teacher workshop days to begin the process of imparting our wisdom to the rest of the special education staff.  I'll admit that I haven't really spent a lot of time thinking about it.  I'm more of a "last minute preparation" sort of gal.  I mean honestly...can you think of anything more fun than a panicked cram session the night before you have to prove your competency in something?  We live on the edge here in Sheep Land.  I was even so full of optimism that I thought I might be able to do the prep work until about 8:00 then set it aside for the evening and knit some more on that sock that I started in order to celebrate my new decision to just knit what makes me happy.  

I'm sort of stupid that way.  I'm assuming that you have already seen where this is going.  You guys are pretty sharp.  That's what I love about ya!   You catch on far more quickly than I do.

My fellow instructors had a meeting about a month ago to discuss the particulars of this undertaking and to create teaching teams.  I was a bit busy that day what with all the educating of the masses so I opted to stay in my classroom.  I figured that the more enthusiastic, organizational types would have more fun with the whole planning process anyway.  (It seems that not everyone is a fan of the whole "last minute" thing.)  I received an email later with the details and learned that I was going to be on a team with one of the Preparedness Proponents. I figured that much of the detail work would be taken care of whether I liked it or not.  So, I sat back.  No worries...

Fast forward to last week and my four day tussle with students who didn't want to finish their long term assignments before vacation and colleagues who were demonstrating a high degree of neediness in my presence.  The meeting I was supposed to have with my teaching team was cancelled due to their incredible busy-ness, but I was to fear not they assured me.  They had discussed the matter in their own meeting and divided up the teaching assignments.  All I had to to was show up.  Oh and, by the way, I was in no way to feel obligated by their schedule.  I could feel free to express any discontent and it would be given all the consideration it deserved.  I was pretty busy though and didn't really have the time to look closely at the material.

Besides, when you've missed the meeting, you can't really complain.  You've already given tacit approval to the plan.  And you're a walking target.  

I began reviewing the material a little last night.  I noticed that there seemed to be quite a bit on my plate.  In fact, it would be more fair to call my plate a platter since the majority of the lecture portion seems to have been heaped upon this metaphorical china of mine.  But, the hour was late and I figured it was just my imagination.  I promised myself that I would look over it more thoroughly the following evening and that it would undoubtedly look more balanced with a fresh eye.

'Twas three hours ago that I began the looking-over process and there is no getting around it at this point.  I don't necessarily think it was intentional.  I choose not to believe that my teaching partners were trying to take advantage of my lack of attendance.  People are inherently good.  I need to believe this.  

But, I still think I might have gotten shafted, here.

If I compare the number of actual pages of material, mine come fairly close to that of the other two combined.  They are also almost entirely lecture.  Which, if you think back on any of the  workshops or trainings you may have attended in your life, are the most mind-numbing part.  When the participants reflect back on this experience, I will be remembered as The Boring Lady Who Held Them Hostage For Hours At A Time And Tried To Use Weak Jokes To Cover For Her Utter Lack Of Interesting Material.

Great.  Just great.

To be fair, I think that I may have earned this dubious distinction.  I am actually fairly good when it comes to speaking in front of groups.  I do it every day, after all.  It's sort of part of the whole teaching gig.  I also happen to be able to improvise fairly well and can fake sounding knowledgeable at the drop of a hat if the need arises.  I'm not trying to toot my own horn or anything...but I received some pretty good feedback on my teaching of the material in the training and it stands to reason that some of this stuff would end up in my lap.  I really have to work on that whole "demonstrating competency" thing.  It has bitten me in the hindquarters more than once.  

But, the amount of material that I need to cover tomorrow is epic.  In fact, I suspect that I will be doing most of the instruction for the time allotted.  And that is only the beginning.  The next day we have to teach more of the physical interventions and I shudder to think what I will be assigned for that session!  

Hence, I find myself having to accept that this evening is shot.  I will, in all likelihood, be giving practice lectures to the cats until bedtime.  I reckon if I can keep them awake for at least part of it, then I have a shot at engaging a room full of adults who have been told they will be attending a mandatory two day training and whose minds are really back at home wondering if the turkey is defrosting on schedule for Thursday's Thanksgiving Consumption.  





Softening the edges of the photo does not soften the blow.  It is going to be a busy night for Sheepie...


I could probably get in trouble for even posting a picture of this highly copyrighted material.  I'm sure that I have violated about 47 rules by even showing the cover of the training binder.

Do you think maybe they'll fire me?  Perhaps before tomorrow...

SA

17 comments:

kmkat said...

Behavioral safety training? That would be all about basket holds and de-arming 12-year-olds, right? Wish I could be there -- I could use another couple days of knitting. I'd clap for you, though :)

Mouse said...

Oh my.. good luck sheepie!

crzjane said...

You probably are not "lucky" enough to get out of it by being fired. One thing I have learned is to always attend the meetings. Because the person who is absent usually gets the majority of the work heaped upon them.
Good Luck, I'm sure you will do well.

Julie said...

I really admire people (and Sheep) who can speak in front of a group; I have panic attacks at the mere thought of it!

Kath said...

Does this mean the cats will get to be certified in QBS, Inc.'s Behavioral Safety Training methods? As a reward perhaps for being the guinea pigs?

Seriously, the ability to "fake sounding knowledgable at the drop of a hat" is an impressive skill and one I've always coveted. You've heard of "grace under pressure"? I call that "B.S. under fire" and I suck at it.

One last question - if people show up at your class with knitting and want to knit while you are lecturing (instead of doodling, or sleepin with eyes open, etc.) - do they get extra credit? :)

Teri S. said...

Oh no! I thought that you'd be knitting during the whole teacher training escapade. I had no idea that you were actually going to present. Nonetheless, I'm sure that you will do swimmingly. Maybe you can incorporate some knitting-related material into your presentation. Good luck and may the muses be with you!

Cursing Mama said...

I'm sure your significant experience is what qualified you for this level of importance & education imparting.

**I'm certain this doesn't make you feel any better - but it might make a good story.

missemilysmom said...

Good luck! I present a workshop tomorrow! I have 4 people! 3 out of the 4 I think are taking it just because! I have a High School teacher (software using is only K-4), a retiring teacher (leaving at Christmas), a 2nd gr. ed tech (does not even have a computer to use) and EXCEL!
Ought to be interesting! I am going to bring my knitted babe to work on!

Beth said...

Lucky cats! :) I just loved the picture. Good luck!

Anne said...

Alrighty then! Good luck with this whole thing - I'm sure the cats appreciated the evening's entertainment. This does not sound like a fun way to spend the day - either from your perspective or the attendees'.

I nominate you for the Golden Shovel award. It's an honor - really.

trek said...

I won't say anything about attendance being important. Not a word.

Good luck today.

Anonymous said...

Good luck...
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Marianne said...

OK, here's what you do, take the sock in progress with you, work on it while you're speaking to the group, it should distract them just enough, you could be saying most anything... be sure to throw in some knitterly jargon... turning the heel now...
Good Luck!

Alwen said...

I was doing well until I got to the photo of the training manual. Then I could actually feel my eyelids closing.

I used to have a history textbook like that -- it was my insomnia cure.

Leah said...

Here's hoping that you are punished severely and banned from any and all meetings......

Hopefully!

Bobbi said...

oh my! good luck!

Mia said...

Oh poor, poor sheepie. This will certainly call for extra helpings of dessert on Thursday.. so hang in there.. good things are coming!