Out of Service

Every few months I have to go to a teacher ‘inservice.’ This is better (I guess) than being ‘out of service,’ which is the way I feel most of the time.

Mid-February is a good time to bring teachers together and force them to absorb new and meaningless acronyms that will presumably make someone a little richer. That is the thinking of our school board.

For teachers, it provides an excuse to pool our cynicism, complain about things and go out for a long lunch.

My thought is this: teachers have taught students for thousands of years without having inservices. Why does education suddenly require fixing all the time?

“Suddenly” in Daxworld doesn’t mean a few minutes ago, or even yesterday. It refers to any time in the last fifty years or so. In the cosmic calendar, formal education has only been going on for a few seconds.

But educators speak a new language these days, and we go to inservices to maintain our fluency. It’s called Educanto. It consists mostly of acronyms and optimistic euphemisms. The 3 R’s are no longer as we remember them; now they are Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. We can’t just sit down and talk with other teachers, ask advice, try new things. Now we must meet in Collaborative Peer Groups or Professional Learning Communities and have an Plan for Action Research. More

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