I went to a fantastic workshop today, one that I have been looking forward to for almost a year. Last year, I went to a two-day conference with Bruce Wellman, the author of Mentoring Matters. He is an amazing speaker and presenter, and the strategies he uses make sense and are immediately useful and interesting. I really want to become a great mentor and help teachers that are new to the profession. I know this is going to help me on my way. Today, I got to return to the site of my first workshop with Bruce Wellman and go deeper into the idea of mentoring (I also get to go to a session with him on Tuesday of next week!!) However, I got trapped with a partner today that made me cringe for almost the entire day. If the information being presented wasn't so interesting I might not have made it through the day.
The woman I sat with seemed very well-intentioned and I have no doubt that she tries hard to be a fantastic teacher for her students, however, she never stopped talking. NEVER STOPPED. And a lot of what she said was politically incorrect. She complained about (her words) "having a disabled kid in the class who's chair and stuff takes up all the room. They never use to let those kids in the room." She also made several and repeated references to different ethnic groups, how much stuff cost, how her son was dating a slut, that she got all the bad kids in her class and everyone else had perfect classes, she had loaned people teaching materials and they were never returned, she bought a new dog and it cost a lot, etc, etc, etc. I tried my very best to make non-commital remarks like, "ummm", "ahhh", "oh" in the hopes she would give up. Not my luck.
I made repeated a long trips to the washroom, missing out on information being presented, I attempted to read, READ, the textbook we were studying but she just never stopped. Like I said, she seemed very well-intentioned in the area of wanting to do well by her students, but it is teachers like this that give the rest of us the label of complainers. Sometimes I feel like I am a negative person who dwells on the bad stuff, but compared to this Debbie Downer I am little Miss Mary Sunshine!
I texted my sister in the middle of the day when I just couldn't take it anymore and she suggested I get up and move, but it was a small group...no more than 25 people and it would have been very noticeable. I am just glad that she won't be there on Tuesday when I go back and sadly, a part of me hopes we don't run into each other again.