When I say that TFA has no sense of humor, I’m not talking about the thousands of staffers, CMs, and alums. Individually, most of the CMs and CMAs I’ve met do try to keep a sense of perspective that allows them to laugh at some of their own mistakes.
When it comes to the organization TFA, however, the whole is a lot more humorless than the sum of its parts.
This is part of the reason, I think, that the workshop I used to present from 1995 to 2003 at the institute is no longer offered. I tried to make my points about the importance of classroom management by making fun of the many mistakes I made during my first year. Those mistakes enabled me to learn and to pass on what I learned from them. These optional workshops were very popular, even ‘standing room only.’ But TFA made it difficult for me to volunteer my services, and eventually I gave up trying. But a friend of mine videotaped one workshop, so now it’s up on YouTube and I hope you get a chance to watch it.
Here’s a link to a video of the workshop I presented at the 2003 New York institute. It’s an hour. If you’re in a rush, just watch parts 3, 4, and 5 for the main points.