Monday, September 25, 2006

Give them the fingers.

Oh, man. I had that meeting on Friday for BAP. 'Member? It lasted two hours. Two hours!

Actually, it took us an hour to decide on a team name and then an hour for BAP. You see, since all of the teachers are participating in BAP, they then divide us up so we are more productive (Two hours!). They divided us by the grade level that we will be in charge of, so there were four meetings going at once; and the first order of business was to come up with a unique group name (because four groups are so hard to keep up with).

The name selection probably wouldn't have taken that long if Hammer, our group leader, hadn't used the "fist to five" method. Have you guys heard of this? When individuals vote, they just don't raise their hands, but they hold out the number of fingers on that hand to match the degree of their acceptance. For example, if one is absolutely against something, then s/he provides no fingers. Three fingers means that they are about 60% on board. So not only do you get an outcome, but a percentage of support can be gauged too. You get the idea. And yes, it is more complicated than "For or Against." Would you expect anything less? We're The 11th Graders, by the way.

Now for the worst part. That's right, it gets worse. Hammer thought it would be a great idea that we teachers do the activity before giving it to our students. That makes sense, right? To be a doctor, one works on cadavers first. All lawyers have done the mock trial thing, so it would make sense for we teachers to--uh--tape paper plates to our backs?


The activity called for the participants to attach paper plates to one another and then go around writing compliments on each other. Can you just imagine? Here we were, a bunch of grown ass adults--with paper plates on our backs--writing on each other--at 4 o'clock--on a Friday.

Not only that, but we didn't know each other. Like me, the other teachers have been squirreled away in their classrooms, too busy to interact with anyone who wasn't their student or in their own department. Not only did we not know each other's names, but we had no clue on the subjects we taught either. What were we to write? Let me share with you some of the stuff I read on the plates as I was trying to come up with something myself.

"One time you held a door open for me. I think."

"That coffee you're drinking smells good."

"You're using a yellow marker. It's pretty."

"People have said many nice things about you, so far."

"Cindy, I thought your name was Mindy."

I must look on the bright side though. By doing this before the students, I should have enough time to come up with a semi-decent response for when the students ask, "What's the point of this?"

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