So, that conference.
One of the few benefits from my school dsitrict is that they will reimburse up to $550 or so a year of expenses, and if you don't spend it, it rolls over. Since I haven't spent anything for two years, I've got some bucks saved up, and I decided that since I like this AP Stats gig, I might as well really go for it. The folks that own the AP brand (and, seriously, make no mistake: it is a brand, just like American Eagle, Hollister, Dell, and Converse) run institutes all across the country and so I signed up.
I took one of these last year, up in northern Washington, which--uck, so much suckitude, other than the fact I got to hang with a dear dear friend of mine and his wife.
(speaking of which: mental note--they have a baby due. Is it a boy or a girl? Must check into that.)
But I figured this institute was in driving range, and wouldn't fuck (tooo much) with our Make A Goddamn Baby plans for the summer and I could still, you know, progress as a teacher, so hey! Everyone wins!
And of course, it falls right in the week of every cycle that is the Put Everything On Hold week. When calculating weeks and shit in the spring, I thought the PEOH week would be NEXT week, but apparently I miscounted. PEOH week is, um, FUN (or not), but I'll talk about that some other time.
Anyway, I'm in this training.
And. Um. I LOVE it.
Yeah, sure, I'll bitch about the class, about the 25% who have no idea what they're talking about but still insist on FUCKING TALKING. And maybe I'll bitch about the teacher, who isn't very good at getting people in line and making them shut up. And sure, I know, Teachers Make The Worst Students (ask me sometime about the Freedom Finger learning experience...). But I love being a student.
I love it.
I am actually learning some cool projects that I could do as a 1-day or 2-day thing that really do make the "Ah-ha!" light go on (or at least they did for me). Hard concepts, like transformations, or how to explain R-squared, or whatever Stats-associated topic may come up... this instructor has some great material. It makes me think, and I actually do understand some things better because of what I've learne.d I will be a better teacher because of this class. And soon I have to do some homework for it, but first I'll finish this because...
Also? Hee. I ran into another teacher from my district. Not from my school--there aren't any (which actually is a surprise). But this teacher (who rocks, ROCKS!) and I know each other from some post-grad classes we took together. Turns out she's going to be teacing some of the same classes as me and asked how AP Stats had gone. Oh, I said, I had a 90% success rate. THAT WAS YOU?!?!?! she asked.
Apparently there is some talking. At the district level. ABOUT ME. That she overheard. Because an influential parent said, "LOOK at this teacher with the 90% passing rate: you can't TELL me that teaching doesn't affect that." Emphasis, by the way, on influential.
So yeah, despite that PEOH factor of this week, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm a rocking teacher, and I'M GOING TO BE EVEN BETTER.