Teaching the Teachers

Our young, forward-thinking vice-principal, in pursuit of higher test scores for the whole school, arranged for me to present some basic test-taking strategies to all of the departments in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday I had my first presentation to the English, History and Fine Arts departments.  As always, I was not a bit nervous until the moment I stood in front of everyone and said, "Okay, we're going to get started . . . " Then some butterflies for a minute or two, until I relaxed into my knowledge of the topic and was able to think and speak with clear articulation.

It was interesting, how much that roomful of teachers behaved like students.  Very few of them volunteered answers, though they must have had some idea of what to say.  Many eyed me with suspicion as I talked about strategies that seemed (and are) counter-intuitive to strategies we teach them for school.  More than one dozed off.

But there were a few who nodded encouragingly, asked insightful transition questions, and thanked me for helping them to see the test in a new light.  The next day, when one teacher stopped me in the hall to tell me how much she'd enjoyed the presentation, I told her how much her cheerful attention had meant to me.  "Well," she smiled.  "I'm a good student.  I've had some practice."