I recently gave a presentation on writing at a local conference held at a school. I was in a small math classroom and about 20 teachers attended. I was so excited to have such a good turnout that I even considered taking a selfie with the group so I could show off, but I immediately rethought my idea when people seemed to be more interested in just following their friends into a room instead of choosing something they felt they could actually use.
Yeesh… is it high school all over again?
As I was walking around the room after giving an “assignment” and realizing that about 7 or 8 people were not participating at all, in fact, were talking while everyone was supposed to be writing, I began thinking about my own experience as a participant.
Teachers don’t always get a lot of time to socialize or talk to one another without students present. Maybe when we get to these PD sessions with a gaggle of our cohorts, we are so caught up in the interaction in a new setting that we forget what we’re there to do. I met my best friend in graduate school and that’s not because the teacher gave us time to socialize and build relationships. We would get distracted and talk and pass notes during class. But why?
Maybe we need recess: a time to be together without an agenda.
If we had time to focus on just being together and becoming a group, perhaps we would have less need to socialize in inappropriate situations.