Being a teacher and being a Browns fan are quite similar. In August when the start of things are right around the corner, there’s a lot of fake optimism. We say the right things only because showing any signs of negativity would bring about a cavalcade of criticism from outsiders.
In reality, none of us is excited. Even though we like our jobs, we’d still rather have another month to do whatever it is we do when we don’t have to work.
So with one week remaining of my summer vacation, I sadly bring you the only Back to School Tips for Teachers you need.
Ignore pretty much everything you hear during the three days of meetings.
If you teach at a big school, you can skip the ones you know are going to suck. Allow me to give you a brief rundown of beginning of the school year meetings that will undoubtedly suck:
- Anything with the words “team building” in it. Principals love to bring in outsiders to tell us how important teamwork is. I’m as much of a team guy as the next person, but I find these to be a horrible waste of time. They’re always met with a lot of fanfare from the higher ups and fail to deliver. I recall being bullied…errrr….invited to a team building assembly a couple years ago. Zappos, a local shoe company, sent someone over from their team building division to get us all fired up. It flopped. The “motivational” speaker wasn’t very motivational. I could have done a 10 times better job for half the price.
- Anything that teaches you something your administrators learned over the summer at some 3-day seminar in a tropical place. These are by far the worst: Administrator X goes to a seminar in a tropical location. Motivational Speaker X presents all this great stuff about Topic Y. Administrator X loves all this great stuff Motivational Speaker X presents about Topic Y. Administrator X has no clue what exactly Topic Y is and less of a clue on how to implement it. Administrator X shoves Topic Y down Teachers A-ZZZZZ’s throat without any clear instruction. Teachers A-ZZZZZ feel stressed out and overwhelmed because they don’t have any understanding of how to implement Topic Y. Teachers A-ZZZZZ abandon Topic Y after a couple hours. Administrator X doubles down on Topic Y. Teachers A-ZZZZZ feel stressed out and overwhelmed…..The cycle repeats until Administrator X attends another seminar. And it starts all over.
- Anything that’s over an hour. I’m being generous here. If it lasts over an hour, you’re wasting precious class time.
Allow me to summarize the only back to school teacher tip you need to know.
Just attend the opening of school meeting (usually held at the last possible hour) and ignore everything else.
The opening of school meeting is the one where the administrators go over what needs to be done with all the sign in cards and attendance cards and all that crap.