Frequently, the National Holidays for government workers become inservice days for teachers. We don't object most of the time; we get out of school before Memorial Day because of giving up these days. (Once in awhile it would be fun to hit the special sales on these National Holidays, but oh well.)
I was trying to figure out what has happened to our inservice days that makes me dread them more than I used to. It finally dawned on me. (It has only taken a year!)
Inservices used to be casual dress; jeans, and boots or tennis shoes worn with a nice shirt or a school shirt or sweatshirt. Teachers were relaxed and happy to see each other and to be at school without students. There seemed like there was a rise in the energy level: almost a skip in the step and a sense of fun, even if the work was sometimes wearisome. I know there was a rise in the happiness level. To top it all off, if we had time after lunch or at the end of the day, we could clean out closets, change posters and bulletin boards, or paint sets. (You know. The things that require climbing or dirtying our clothes.)
A year ago, jeans were forbidden except on Fridays. We had high hopes of them bending the dress codes on inservice days, or at least the inservices that didn't involve an outside speaker. No dice. We must dress up for inservice days now. (It's not Friday.) Gone is the casual camaraderie. People seem almost grim. Clean out a closet? Nope. We have to return to school on a weekend or evening for dirty work. And the mood is sober and bored before the day even begins.
Can clothes really do that? I'm not sure, but I can't think of much else that has changed.
I'm not sure I'm a better teacher with the new dress code for staff. I know my feet hurt daily.
I am fairly certain I'm not a better teacher on inservice days.
Maybe it is time to work out a deal: if it is a National Holiday and we have an inservice with no outside of district speakers, we get to take a vacation from dressing up.
Sounds good to me. A girl can dream....