This morning I received an e-mail from my principal. It was short, sweet, and to the point: go see him because he had an “opportunity” for me. I didn’t have a chance to go see him until lunch, which gave me plenty of time to mull over all the horrible, agonizing things I might be asked to do. Transfer schools? Take on a new prep? Go to more N.A.T. meetings? Sponsor the junior class (in which case, prom would be a sock hop in the gym)?
One of my coworkers received the same message, and got to speak to the principal about the matter before I did. I told him not to tell me what the opportunity was because I wanted to be surprised and to react naturally and impulsively. Things usually end up more fun that way.
So I found the boss at lunchtime, and he passed along some flattering news. Actually flattering, not “we needed someone to do this thankless job and thought of you” flattering. Turns out that someone at the district office was looking at our AP United States History pass rates and thought it might be a good idea if we could talk to some of the newer teachers in the district about teaching the course. They want to set up a one-day seminar some time in September where we’d all get together and my coworker and I would spread the wisdom accrued over all our years teaching the course.
I’ll probably say yes, even though (not because) it’ll get me out of the classroom for a day. I don’t normally like attending these seminars myself. Usually I find them useless because they aren’t as relevant as they should be to the courses I’m teaching, and I spend a lot of time jotting down random thoughts that run through my head or sketching wooden warships firing at each other. But now, I’ll have the chance to run a district seminar the way I want to run it, and everybody else will have a chance to take potshots at me, whisper to each other that I have no idea what I’m talking about, and draw their own doodles in the margins of their notes. Exciting times.
Hopefully it’ll go well, and hopefully these first-time teachers will take something useful from it.
Tomorrow I’m going to attend a lecture by James Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me. He’s one of the best-known critics of the textbook I use; I figure he warrants a listen.