Friday, February 20, 2009

Poster Kurfuffle

It all started when I had to host one of our monthly meetings. I hate hosting meetings because I don't think I'm very good at it. Teachers, especially after a long day of work, are also the worst kind of audience. They chat amongst themselves, fail to pay attention, and wander off topic at the first opportunity. In short, it's a bit like teaching kids only you can't yell at them to behave.

Anyway, I was running this meeting, and we were discussing a major project we are developing for all students. This project has several components, and it involves many people working on separate pieces to create the whole. In the midst of serious discussion (yes they finally got on topic) about one of the most complex parts of the project, the principal suddenly interrupted to say "where's the poster!?" We all looked around in confusion trying to figure out what the heck he was talking about. "The poster!" he demands again. By this time, people are looking seriously confused.

"The poster about this project!" he finally clarifies. Vague memories are coming to me of his having caused posters to be made advertising the major features of the project. "Urm, sorry" I say "I don't think I have one of those yet." He's still looking wildly around the room as if a poster might magically appear. "You must have a poster! Everyone's supposed to have a poster! Who has one that we can use?!" Nobody responds at first. We're all looking at each other to see what will happen.

Someone tries to sort of ignore the whole poster thing and get us back to the topic at hand, but he's not having any of it. He demands that someone go down and find a poster "pull it off your wall if you have to" and bring it back to our meeting. No further discussion can happen until the all important poster arrives. A few people make vague noises about having posters in THEIR room because they're so important to the project. The poster finally arrives. It has been ripped from the wall for this purpose.

This poster is all of four lines long. It gives four steps for success on the project. The principle admires it, asks someone to read it out loud, and explains to everyone that these are the four steps that count. Without them, our students will fail. We all make more vague noises of approval before going back to our real topic. We've wasted at least twenty minutes.

The next day, in the staff bulletin, there is only one item:

If you do not have a Project Poster, be sure to pick one up in the staff room. It is essential that all students are able to read the four steps for success in each and every classroom.

You just can't make this stuff up.

1 comment:

Raymond said...

Without posters, we would be completely lost! I bet the Senate has a poster just like this in the Capitol so all the senators will know the steps to success.