Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why it is So Frustrating

Beyond the thousands and thousands of dollars that I am spending for a grad degree I do not want but have to get to keep my teaching certificate, my frustration grows with every assignment I complete.   As I learn more and more about how to manage people, lead meetings, involve my staff, develop collaborative spirits and foster effective communication, teaching and learning, my professors demonstrate less and less of these traits.  

My latest assignment is a great example.  I have spent much of this past week, reading the articles, sorting through ideas, planning a presentation.  Mind you, my presentation was required to be a PowerPoint emailed to my professor, there is no actual "presenting" going on.  But even the idea that I could creat the plan she desired, demonstrate it in PowerPoint and never have real or imagined input from the staff I am leading goes against all we are supposedly demonstrating we've learned.  So I stress.  

I spend much of The Mister's birthday and several hours today putting the final product together.  I mumble the whole time because I don't know how to demonstrate my learning in a medium that directly contradicts my learning.  But, I finally cry, "Uncle!" and turn it in.  I remark to The Mister that despite my streak of perfect scores, this one is going to bomb. 

Within a couple hours, my professor has emailed me back.  I needn't worry, apparently.  Her comment was, "What a great job! From the cool blue background and the great and unusual font to quotes that really said what you wanted, you set a tone that would be great for the rest of the year!"

So, nothing about the communication plan I laid out?  Nothing about the steps necessary for building a collaborative team spirit?  Nothing about whether I was on track or not with my role as facilitator?  Nope.  Cool background.  Unusual font.  Great.  

While it would seem another A will be in store for me for this class (and next, I have the same professor again) I wish these people would just let me write them a check and give me a degree.  Clearly all it takes to be a good principal is to use outdated presentation tools with basic templates that come with the program and infuse your presentation with quotes about communication and conflict that you got from a Google search.  The rest?  Unnecessary.  

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