Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I just spent the past two and a half days at a CEA (CT Education Association) sponsored Summer Leadership Conference learning about health insurance. I have a few thoughts....not so much about the topic I chose to learn because not only was I the youngest teacher in the room, I was also the least knowledgeable and much of what was said was so far above my head I could barely make sense of it. No, I have some thoughts about casinos in general and this event in particular.

Let's start with casinos: whoever decided not to put clocks in them was clearly brilliant. I arrived Monday morning and left Wednesday afternoon and I can tell you that nothing ever changed the entire time I was there. The lights never dimmed, the music never stopped, the staff were never absent and the guests were always, always, gambling. The whole experience was, frankly, a little surreal. Logically, I knew I went to bed-twice, and woke up-twice. But there was no other way for me to tell the passing of time. And no, I didn't gamble once. Partly because our schedule was pretty full and partly because I'm just not a gambler and mostly because we just bought a house.

On to this conference: now, I am a teacher, which means volumes to some people and very little to others. One of the things that teachers do not get are very long lunches. During this conference I had an hour to an hour and a half to eat lunch. This meant, since it was a room full of teachers, that most of us finished in about ten to fifteen minutes and then sat around chatting for the rest of our time. I couldn't help but wonder if this is how things are done "in the real world". Do people in business really get hour long lunches? If so, what in the world do you do with yourself every day?

Also, being a teacher, I've never been exposed to "panels". I guess in the business sector that is how things are done, but I spent the last two and a half days looking at a panel of experts and listening to them as they spoke from their chairs about the topic. The idea of sitting and instructing is completely foreign to me. I have a desk, yes, and I do sit at it--before school and after school. There is very little time to sit at it during school (read: when my students are in the room). The topic this weekend was interesting, but I couldn't get over the fact that these experts essentially sat in a chair and talked at us all day long. I also can't imagine attending professional development during the school year and having that be the manner of instruction. Again, is that really how it's done in the business sector and if so how in the world do you keep yourself focused and attentive?

All that aside, I did learn a few things, which is always good, and I did get to stay at Foxwoods for free, in a nice big room all by myself (my roommate never showed up) so all in all, it wasn't such a bad three days.


Moms said...

I can picture you standing and walking all around your classroom....but, I can't picture you sitting OR eating lunch. I love to read your blog! love Mom s

Lisa said...

So I've thought about what you asked and I can say that yes, that is how it's done in the business world. I, for one, have trouble staying awake during lectures, so I have no idea how people keep themselves focused and attentive. I can last about 20 minutes, after that I'm in big trouble. As for lunch, it is essential to people who stare at a computer for a living to have an hour of NOT staring. I personally like to go for a walk or go to a restaurant (preferably for some sushi) or just chat with friends. I often wonder how people get by without taking a lunch break - I know it doesn't take that long to eat, but how do you make it through the whole day without a break?