Last Tuesday, May 27, I attended a Teacher Leader Network workshop to learn more about the role of teacher-leader as facilitator. It was an excellent professional learning opportunity, but I was booked to go in the afternoon ... which meant that this affected my weekly Minecraft Club meeting. I told my club members about my back-then-upcoming absence and the negotiations began, fast and furious.
1) "Can we just have the club without you?"
I'm glad, on some level, that my Minecrafters don't see me as a pivotal piece to their play; however, since I am the one with all the passwords, and I am the staff supervisor responsible for them from 3:30 until 4:45 p.m. during our club time, this option just wasn't feasible.
2) "Can't you reschedule and go in the morning?"
This was a valid suggestion, and because I anticipated the negative reaction from my Minecraft Club members if I cancelled too many sessions, I actually did try to arrange my first Teacher Leader Network session from May 13 in the morning. The problem was that, based on how I filled out the supply teacher request forms earlier, I was obligated to attend in the afternoon.
3) "What about we just hold it on Wednesday after school?"
My reply: I can't - I have Hacker Space Club then.
4) "What about Thursday after school?"
My reply: I can't - I help train the athletes for the 100 m dash for Track and Field on Thursdays after school.
5) "What about Friday after school?"
My reply: I can't - I have to work out all the schedules and timetables for the entire staff with the other chairperson and after school on Friday was the only day we could find.
I really have to credit this group with their level of perseverance - it reminds me a lot of Denise Colby's team of young students so keen to join Minecraft Club at her school that they bombarded her with reminders, notes, and pleas. I admired their innovative thinking, coming up with several different options (that I, unfortunately, had to shoot down). I predict that they will be quite irritated with me when they hear that I have one more Teacher Leader meeting on a Tuesday afternoon (June 17), but maybe then, one of their negotiation tactics will come to fruition.