Since I started teaching, I've managed to forget about or be sick on every district-wide professional development day. This has been quite a boon to me; I was actually looking forward to Thursday's session. I was right to want to go: our facilitator was dynamic, she gave us planning time, we received most of the materials we need to plan for the year, aligned to standards, etc. Wonderful.
The room was really hot, and, not having been to a PD before, I expected air conditioning. I mean, even if most of the high schools don't have it, it would make sense to hold PD in a school with some kind of central air, right? I mean, there has to be at least one, doesn't there? Well, the host school was no cooler than mine, and there I was, in a sweater and cords. It was 90 degrees, and I was sitting by the heater, in front of the windows. When we had our first break, I made a beeline for the hallway. (Having no windows, the hall was much cooler.) The heat didn't send just me running, though. Yells from the corner where I'd come from followed me out. I chatted with a friend in the hall, but floods of people dispersed us. Why?
The heat chased a snake out of the heater. It slithered right onto my bag. Had it been there while I was sitting in my chair, hiding it from view? Did they scream because it came out when I left, or because it stirred on its way to my chair? It was a long, black, orange-striped snake. The stripes were shaped like diamonds -- a rather menacing shape on a reptile, I think. When the dude who caught it wrapped it around his arm, it went all the way to his elbow. The creature was an inch and a half in diameter, at least, but I was shaking with shivers too much to get all that close.
I was skittish the rest of the day. My effort to look like I wasn't trying to keep my feet off the ground while watching all four of the legs of my chair meant that I have no idea what was said about our unit plans, curriculum, or testing. No idea.
But it's all okay. The school was glad to find it, really. No matter about teachers whose bags are inspected by reptiles -- they'd been looking for a replacement for the Science Department pet, lost last October. Oh. Wait... maybe this was the same little guy, just hanging out? Living off mice? In the school? For nine months? What else is living in our halls?
I'm glad my bag was an attractive enough lure to get it out of the heater, at least, even if I may never again set foot in a professional development session.
It didn't help that on my way out my department head told me about another one in the Social Studies room.