Sunday, January 11, 2009

Maddening Meltdown Meetings

Friday morning meetings have become the low point of my week at this point in the school year. This year, our school focus has been on improving literacy and our hour and a half meetings on Friday mornings are split three ways - one section on note-taking, one section on graphic organizers, and one section on vocabulary. These are all things I would like to improve on, but the meetings have descended into a twenty minute race where information is thrown at us and few explanations are given. Some presenters are better than others, Hasselbeck presents the notes section and that usually makes sense to me and goes well.

The second section however, is presented by the Bondswoman, who is supposed to talk about graphic organizers. The problem is that I do not know how to do graphic organizers. I know all teachers are supposed to know how to do this, but I have never been taught how to do graphic organizers, and since I am a very linear thinker, I really struggle with it.

Information makes the most sense to me when it is presented as outline notes. I have never had a problem doing notes like that. And since I am a tactile learner, the more notes I take, the better. Taking notes means that I am touching the words and the more words I "touch," the better I learn it. I don't understand traditional graphic organizers. Venn diagrams I can understand, but I have never been taught how to take a piece of text and organize it in a non-linear format. It seems like it would be easy, since I am somewhat artistic, but it is incredibly difficult for me. Anyway, this woman drives me crazy since she just speeds through information at a high rate of speed and never does more than just the basics. I have made NO progress in this area.

This usually succeeds in putting me in such a terrible mood that when the last presenter comes in to do the spiel on vocabulary, I am usually quite grouchy and pretty uncooperative. Not good. Unfortunately, I have a very expressive face, and it is pretty much impossible for me to hide what I am thinking, so on Friday, several people asked me later in the day if I was ok, and I had to explain my frustration over and over.

Which is when I realized that I am not alone in feeling this way.

This year, we have spent probably 10 Friday mornings with this information, as well as a couple of the days before school started, did a book study on this last year, and were given two other books to read on this stuff this year and I am totally overloaded with information.

Some changes are being made (by both myself and by the presenters). I am going to attempt to have a better attitude and we have decided as a faculty to have our next Friday morning be all one we will spend 1.5 hours doing just graphic organizers, or just vocab or whatever. Hopefully this will work better.

It would help if people would get there on time. We are supposed to start at 6:50 and be done by 8:20 (school starts at 9:00 on Fridays), and even if we bump it a little to start at 7 and be done by 8:30 that would be ok. But there have been times when we haven't been released from these meetings until 8:45! And that might be the most frustrating thing for me....feeling rushed to be ready to go first period. I HATE being late and it is very annoying to me when everyone else is late. Why are we surprised that the kids have problems with tardies when we can't ever get to where we are supposed to be on time either?

But that's another issue...and this post is very long, so I will go. I woke up this morning with a sore throat and an upset stomach (AWESOME) and there is no way I can take a day off anytime in the next two weeks due to final project stuff, so I must get myself feeling better by tomorrow morning.

1 comment:

John Deere Mom said...

Um, Friday morning meetings?! Pah-yuke! I can't imagine. Fridays should be happy and carefree...not full of data and graphic organizers.
Hope you are feeling better and have a good week. HOPEFULLY you will get a super sweet package delivered this week!