I’ve spent the last two days in professional development. On one hand, I feel like a limp dishrag. On the other, I can’t wait to try some of these things out. Karen Streeter, my supervisor, arranged for Tammy Worcester to do professional development for the TRTs for two days. It was just us, the Portsmouth folks and it was great. Tammy is a nationally known Instructional Technology Specialist from Kansas. She’s been in the field for a very long time. Lots of the things she showed us were applications that we should have been able to figure out on our own. However when you are working at 100mph every day, you just don’t have time to think about some of these things or play with applications the way you’d like.
As I see it, Karen was doing herself a great favor by arranging this for us. In my mind it was at least the equivalent of going to the VSTE ITRT mini-conference. We spent a day learning how to support academics and another day learning about using web applications. We would have probably had the same kind of learning experiences at the mini-conference, but logistically our whole team would not have been able to go. First of all the ITRT conference is in the summer and most of our folks don’t work in the summer. Secondly I think the cost (travel, meals, lodging) would have been more, and this way we got two days of professional development instead of one.
So at the end of day two I am wiped. But since we had arranged to be in the ODU tri-cities center, we needed to make especially sure that we returned the teaching lab back to the way we found it…(my mom taught me manners). So, the question is how do you clean up after a group of TRTs? The answer – with dread…I know this because I end up cleaning up after these folks most Fridays.
The first thing we had to do was to empty the recycle bin (a large blue container with the recycle symbol on it above which is a sign clearly stating that it is for copy paper only). It was filled to the brim with garbage from everyone’s lunch from the two days we were there. Of course if they had followed the lab rules about not eating in the lab in the first place we wouldn’t have had to clean up their garbage. Then of course we wanted to make sure the computers were all back in working condition. Here again, my experience told me there would be an issue. Most of the computers were fine; however one had been totally upended and left that way. So the computer needed to be put back the way it was found.
Other than that, the two days were great. I look forward to finding language arts applications for the information we got.