Tuesday, October 26, 2010

LV 21 = Teachers' Institute

Usually during the last week of October, schools all across the state closed two days for "Teachers' Institute". Teachers were expected to spend these days attending workshops which were held at various sites across the state, ostensibly to "improve the quality of instruction" in the schools. Most of the larger functions were conducted by the largest of the teachers' unions; though to be sure it was never called a "union"; nor is it to this day. Please, on with the story.

Since at the time, teachers were paid for these days, but were expected to be able to show that they had indeed attended workshops, it was important that one select a site which offered the best opportunities for "extracurricular" activities. I don't know, don't want to know, what this meant to anyone else, but to me, it was an opportunity to take the family to Ft. Wayne, home of the wife's parents and extended family. Thus the kids got to see their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and so on, and I was able to "fit in" a couple of workshops at the old "institute." Worked for everyone.

Some years I attended sessions in Indianapolis, particularly if there was to be a high-powered (famous) speaker at the opening session. Like you, I am (was) drawn to power and fame, even if it belonged to someone else. I've pretty much outgrown that.
One year, and as Dave Barry says, I am not making this up, Eleanor Roosevelt was the keynote speaker. I know some of you youngsters are saying, "Eleanor who?" but nevertheless, the educated or older ones amongst you know that Mrs. Roosevelt was a Force. And, yes, I am name-dropping. I haven't seen that many famous people in person.*
This two-day period is now and has been for many years, simply "Fall Vacation" and thus what one does with her or his time is, well, vacation.

*I could probably tick them off on the digits of my hands, and have two thumbs left over.

© 2010 David W. Lacy


jimgrey said...

I remember the old "teacher inservice days." They were always shrouded with mystery.

Silver said...

I think quite the same here. I know that teachers here aren't really having the vacations as free as they would like. They still had to attend workshops and seminars .. what they really do, and if they really do benefit from all those workshops.. is as good as anyone's guess..;D

vanilla said...

Jim-- You mean your teachers did not return to classes Monday morning all rejuvenated and full of new and wonderful ideas?

Felicia-- I like to think that all those "workshops and seminars" I attended were not wasted time. But don't ask me to guesstimate the percentage that was beneficial. ;-)