Friday, April 12, 2013

Are We Really Talking About This?

Here's a list of the seemingly ridiculous things we spend way too much valuable staff meeting time discussing:
1. How we are going to celebrate staff birthdays-- seriously, we've discussed this on multiple occasions and have yet to come to a consensus.

2. Whether the school's Independence Day celebration should be the day before or the day after the actual Namibian Independence Day-- they're were some very strong opinions on the matter. Some thought we couldn't possibly do it before because we wouldn't know what the President was going to talk about in his speech, so we wouldn't know what the theme should be. Others thought that celebrating after the fact was completely pointless.

3. Why some of the backs of the staff chairs are coming unscrewed-- one idea thrown out there was that the cluster principles broke them during their meeting because they weren't accustomed to this type of chair. It was then reiterated the next day.

4. Knock-off time on the day before Easter Break-- because 12:30 isn't early enough since that's normal end-of-week-exam knock-off time, not day-before-holiday-exam knock-off time.

5. Use of study time-- there is much confusion about whether teachers are required to teach extra lessons during study even though the answer has clearly been given as 'no, but you can if you want to'.

6. Should teachers not on study duty be allowed to knock-off at 3:15-- while everyone wants to say yes, the problem arises that many teachers get rides with other teachers and don't want their ride leaving without them/don't want to wait around for the other teachers to finish study duty. Therefore the answer was set as no, everyone must stay till 4 to be fair, but everyone complained.

7. Where the exams we are proctoring (or, to use the British term, invigilating) will be placed for pick up-- they were on a bench outside the office, but too many people walked past them, so then they were put on the floor in the staff room. However that requires bending down to get them, which is unacceptable due to the energy required/restrictions offered by some staff member's outfit choices.

Here's how staff meetings usually work: the principal asks for an opinion on something, we sit in silence for awhile, he asks again, finally someone says something, everyone else disagrees but no one proposes an alternate solution, we sit in silence some more, principles reiterates previous point, everyone argues, we run out of time and table it till later. Lather, rinse, repeat. We need to learn the phrase "executive decision".

What doesn't get discussed at staff meetings:
1. What is actually supposed to happen during study?

2. Maybe the fact that the kids aren't doing well in English has to do with the fact that all communication outside the classroom (and quite a bit inside as well) is done in Oshikwanyama.

3. What is the schedule for after exams? Are we really doing lessons or this just a "let's not and say we did" situation? If we are, what schedule are we following? What period is this??? CAN SOMEONE JUST TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING?!

4. What time we're knocking-off on Friday's during exams. Instead, I was expecting to see my grade 9 math class when a learner told me "No, Miss, we're going home. It's Friday so we're getting out at 12:30." Well no one told me...

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