Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Teacher Training

If you are not a teacher, don't know any teachers, or never went to public school, you can skip this one.
Because it is about teachers. and training.
Yesterday I was sent to a training session in a suburb north of here for a day-long training session. Now by miles, it is only about...umm...well, about 15 miles, I guess.
But time-wise....that is a whole other story.
I left home at what I considered to be a reasonably early hour, 7 a.m., especially since I was not due at the training session until 8:00.
However, highways and traffic being what they are, it took me an hour and forty five minutes to get there.
No, I did not get lost.
Yes, I had a map.
The problem was the traffic. When I got onto the highway, traffic was rolling along at a reasonable 55 mph. Before we reached the first exit, it had slowed to a crawl. I mean, I can walk faster than we were moving.
And I am not a fast walker.
I was behind an 18 wheeler, when I noticed that he was ever so gradually drifing into the next lane. Figuring that he must know something I did not know, I followed him.
And as we rolled past at a brisk 5 miles per hour, I saw the first of our problems--a small car dead to the world, not even blinking his hazard lights.
As we crept along toward the next exit, I began to see flashing red and blue lights, so I figured we were approaching a wreck.
I saw lots of flashing lights, but no wreck. Either it was totally camoflaged, or imaginary, or already cleaned up except for the police cars, or I just missed it as I whizzed by at 15 mph.
To make a long story short (I know, too late) I spent an hour and fifteen minutes to make what should have been about a 20 minute trip.
Then I got to the school.
Oh. my. word.
For the love of all that is educationally holy.
And holy is the operative word, since the training was being offered at a private parochial school.
The kids were in uniform. All of them.
The kids were quiet.
During class time, there were no students in the hall. None.
They don't have a cafeteria. They have a dining experience. Complete with chefs in tall white hats and spotless aprons. No little old ladies in hairnets here.
The floors and walls were immaculate.
No graffiti.
Even the student work on display was in glass cases, like artwork, instead of hanging crookedly with masking tape from the edges of doorways.
It was quite an experience.
The training? Oh, no, that part was pure yawning boredom.
But the school, and its students, were a vision of what school can be.
Well....at least....if you are not teaching in the lowest performing school in the district.
Now at least I can dream....