I have taken many graduate level educational workshops, and I have a confession, they have not changed my life or my teaching. They are watered down graduate level courses. I understand they were created because there is a demand for this style of classes. Teachers are required to take 24 hours worth of graduate classes within their first 5 years of teaching (in Pennsylvania anyway). New teachers have enough to worry about than writing a thesis for their Masters.
I have enrolled with genuine interest in multiple courses to have my hopes dashed. I wanted to learn and instead was forced to go through the motions. Seriously, how can a professor justify spending an entire day on email?! It was a graduate course called Internet for Educators. I would mentally check out for an hour and come back just to make sure the education had not progressed beyond my understanding. Yes, it might have been an easy A, but is that the point of taking classes? I hope not.
I also hope that I do not do this to my students. It is a challenge when so many students are on different levels and have different backgrounds, but there needs to be differenciation in the classroom (which happened to be a graudate course I was interested in until I read the syllabus / realized it was a farce). It is almost criminal to squash the enthusiasm of young students. Once they tire of education, it might not come back.
I guess in the teacher graduate course world, they expect we have already reached that point of not caring, so they don’t care anymore either. I realized today that I do still care. One of my classes was canceled, and I could not remember why I had signed up to take it in the first place. It did not sound like something I would enjoy nor something I would learn life changing values from. I think I will spend that week of my summer reading and enriching my life in other ways.