In preparation for this months faculty meeting, we had to read the first chapter in a book about social emotional learning. While there were a dozen or so teachers who were outraged over this, I wasn't one of them. I don't think it is terrible for a building principal to ask the teachers in the building to read a book in the interest of developing as professionals. I actually think that having a staff who has a common experience with one book can be powerful.
I'm not going to lie. I work full time and my husband does too. We have two teenagers with very active lives. I waited till the weekend before to do my reading. After the original ask, the principal emailed us and asked us to answer the first two comprehension questions. This wasn't a big deal. There was space to respond right in our book. So, I took a couple of hours on Sunday to read the chapter and respond to the questions. I absolutely did resent the fact that I had to do this when what I really wanted to do was to plan for the coming week and beyond. It may not have even been a couple of hours of reading but it sure felt like it. Anyway, I still don't think it was a terrible idea.
On Wednesday, the day before our big meeting, we received a third email with a link to a google doc asking us to now type in our responses to the comprehension questions. There was no way I was getting that done in advance of the meeting.
At the meeting we sat at tables where all grades were represented by a teacher and where there was a special educator. We had a decent conversation about the text and what resonated for each of us. One thing that was obvious to me was that every teacher at my table had done their reading. Only one of us had posted to the Google doc at the time of the meeting. At the end of the meeting, we were reminded to get our thoughts in the doc. UGH. Here it is three days after the meeting and I was kind of hoping that this request would just go away. It isn't going away. Apparently, this is an important doc that will crystalize this experience. It is awesome because we can return to it again and again to remember the experience of reading this book together.
I'm feeling cranky. I don't want to key in my response. The chapter was dry. It was kind of painful to read. Yet, the response I wrote was pretty personal. I didn't mind sharing it at my table. I'm not feeling like I want to type it in that doc. I don't get why we have to take the homework this far. Is it to prove that we did the homework?
I really do get that I wouldn't have to spend time complaining about this if I had spent the time it took me to write this post to just type my response into the doc. I get it.