Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I'm fresh out of my first staff development day of the year and well, I'm annoyed.

I'm in no way frustrated with my grade level, because they're great.  I'm in no way annoyed with my administration or a majority of the other teachers at my school, because they're amazingly supportive.

I'm annoyed with teachers from other schools.  

I'm new to my school and the WIPR model, but I'm in no way new to teaching.  This is year six, which puts me in that veteran teacher category.  However, I don't look my age.  Perhaps it's not having kids, perhaps it's because I try to get enough sleep each night and eat my veggies.  Perhaps it's just good genes (thanks mom!).  I have to put a conscious effort into my appearance to look like a teacher.  Today it was our school shirt, a knee length denim skirt, and flats...standard teacher attire. 

We had a long afternoon session with unwrapping the standards.  I've been doing this for years now, so it's a tad frustrating to go through the process yet again.  However, I understand not everyone has the hundreds of hours of professional development that I do, so I let that go.  We were working as a grade level (both my school and other schools in my district) and sharing ideas for one standard.  Some of the other teachers were very vocal about their lesson plan ideas, which didn't align to our standards.  If I'm teaching informational text, I'm going to try to double dip and incorporate social studies content as well.  It just makes sense to merge content areas to provide a more authentic learning opportunity.  I'm not doing an entire unit on Nevada history (a fourth grade standard) or dinosaurs. (Yes, dinosaurs.  That's what this other teacher was obsessed with.  Every lesson plan idea related back to dinosaurs...for fifth grade.)

I love professional development opportunities where I get to talk with other teachers about instruction.  I like hearing their ideas and learning from others.  Thus, I was really excited about this afternoon...but left severely disappointed.

However, my ideas were not heard.  I shared several strategies that I've used, with great success, but none of them made it to the poster.  My ideas weren't even considered because I'm the youngest one in the room.  I was interrupted and shot down, numerous times.  Ageism is a rather frustrating occurrence in teaching and it reared its ugly head today.  I had a nice conversation with the other teacher from my grade level.  She is on board with actually teaching the standards.  

I'm just frustrated that this afternoon was not productive.  I'm frustrated that I was shut down because of the way I look.  I'm irritated my ideas, which have been proven effective in the classroom, were disregarded but an older gentleman's ideas were put on the chart, even though he's never taught fifth grade.  What happened to being open minded and hearing all ideas?

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