When my own children were little, I hated teacher workdays. The school being closed meant that I had to find a place for them or take off work, and being a teacher myself, it drove me crazy. I can understand why parents hate teacher workdays.
Teacher workdays fall into a bunch of categories. Some of them truly are work days in which I sit at my desk and plan, grade papers, and handle the mountain of paperwork, both literal and virtual, that comes with the job. Other workdays are a series of meetings where we set policy, learn computer programs, strategize on student issues, and meet with parents.
Today we have a teacher workday and this time most of my colleagues and I will be attending the Florida Council of Independent School Conference here in Orlando. There we will hear a series of talks that are some combination inspiration, educational philosophy, and pragmatic lesson plan ideas. If this goes well I will have had some deep thoughts about what I am doing as a teacher, and what my school and department are doing to make the education we provide better. I hope to gather some tips to convey content more effectively or consider some interesting games or lessons to inspire students to learn more.
I have been fortunate to attend conferences where I had a transformative day. Afterward I could not wait to return to my classroom and share and implement what I had learned. I have also attended conferences when the information simply reinforced what I was doing. There was nothing new, but at least I knew I wasn't doing it completely wrong.
Days like this remind me how fortunate I am to work at an amazing school with great students. This may be a reaffirming or a transformative day, but either way, I'll be back at my desk on Monday ready to rock. There's no place like home.