I learned about teacher "grade-ins" from the CT Education Association blog (affiliate of NEA). The article talked about how New Jersey teachers came up with this idea and now it has spread to other states including my home state of Connecticut.
A grade-in when a group of teachers gather in a public space, like a park, shopping mall, or store (like a bookstore with a cafe), and grade papers and prepare lesson plans, in the evening or on weekends.
These grade-in's show the public what teachers do when they are not in school. The reaction from teachers and the public has been very positive. Unless you are a teacher, a room mate of a teacher, or have a teacher in your family, you probably think teachers work 7 hrs a day and get all these days off and the summer off. These grade-in's are showing the public how much work teachers do outside of school. I know that I work in the evening, on weekends, and even on "vacations" just like most of my colleagues. Reports from teachers participating have said that the public is responding well, and in some cases surprised, about how much extra work teachers do.
I think that this is a great idea. Besides showing the public what we do, it would also create more of a community with the teachers themselves instead of working at home in isolation. Make it social and productive. Create a wonderful new Professional Learning Community.
What do you think about this idea?