Why is it that the "Powers That Be" always believe a mere underling should invariably be thrilled and honored when they decide to bestow the privilege of even more work, along with an impossible deadline, on the poor hapless one?
Of all weeks, why would the Department of Education decide that this is the one where they can't wait to find out about my strategies for working with "at-risk" teens? And what would possess them to make it, sight-unseen, a province-wide workshop for teachers of level three students. with me as the presenter, and only three days to prepare?
Folks, if it seems like I am complaining, dammit, you would be right on the money. Not only am I pressed for time in getting this thing done, I am also expected to continue with my regular work load, prepare lesson plans for a supply teacher who is familiar neither with my students nor my classroom and course materials, parent my poor, neglected son and prepare a media statement for a task that I did not volunteer to undertake. I am strictly a behind-the-scenes type of person, and I resent this to the soles of my shoes and the marrow of my bones.
I realize that it is indeed an honor to be "chosen", but truth of the matter is, I have no idea what I am going to tell these people on Friday. The situation of my teaching post is extraordinarily specialized. What works in my favor is the familiarity I have with the students under my care. I grew up in this community. In many cases, I know their parents and their families, some very well. I begin teaching them music in grade six and have them in my classroom every subsequent year until they graduate high school. We have developped an atmosphere of trust and respect among ourselves. The students know that I understand them and care about what happens to them. They know my expectations and quirks, as I know theirs. Most parents tell me I know more about their child than they do.
How can I teach this to a group of my peers? I have been assigned the fabled impossible task. Tomorrow, I must present my "thesis" to a group of local administrators, who are looking for an answer to the "troubled teen" problems facing them. I can only tell them what I have learned through working with my kids. Friday, my peers will be seeking enlightenment. I hope they will not be disappointed, but I doubt that a workable solution will be brought to light.
My apologies to the friends who have, through sheer necessity, been neglected this week. I have not forgotten you, and I will be back as soon as I can.