Richard, I completely understand. I teach in a very small school district
(26 teachers total - K-12 all subjects/grades). We are very rural, with our
biggest discipline problems being tardies and students wearing hats in the
building. I have taught her 15 years now. One year we got a new principal
who obviously didn't understand our school climate. His big "issue" was
protecting our students, and to illustrate his point we watched the video of
the Columbine shooting. It was a horrible way to start the year. Yes, I
believe it is important to take steps to safeguard our students, but dang,
how sad it was to watch that video and then have to meet our students the
next day with a smile on our faces and try to instill enthusiasm in them.
This year we actually had some positive staff development days. One morning
was dedicated to Office 2007 training, since it was installed on all
computers this summer. Then we, as a staff, had a group discussion on things
we wanted to keep (such as our after school detention), what we wanted to
change (our after school mandatory tutoring for students failing classes -
in this case we decided to make it core classes since a student who is
failing art cannot make up "clay" time outside the artroom, same with music,
etc), and just a basic "you are doing a good job and we support you" talk
from the administration. BTW - the administrator who showed that video ended
up being non-renewed.
3-12 Kansas Art Teacher
HS Digital Communications
Technology Integration Specialist
I walked away from the experience feeling down and depressed.