Congratulations! By signing up to speak at a School Board meeting you are showing your willingness to not be treated like a doormat. Or maybe you just wanted to fulfill your lifelong dream of appearing on a public television program that makes most members of the community curse at their TVs, “Another *bleeping* School Board meeting! I want my Downtown Abbey!”

Whatever your motivation, if this is your first time at the rodeo, here are a few survival tips:

  1. Get a hot spot. The last time I attended a School Board meeting they had disabled the wi-fi in the auditorium. Any distraction from listening to the discussion over agenda item CU-L8R will help to numb the pain.
  2. Bring friends. If you have a few friends with you, you can take shifts sitting in the auditorium while the others go enjoy life at a gastro-pub while they wait for the text that the public hearing is about to begin.
  3. Bring papers to grade. Never mind, it’s the end of the school year, you probably don’t have too many of those.
  4. Bring a lap top. Just because the wi-fi is disabled doesn’t mean you can’t start writing the next great American novel!
  6. You are not allowed to clap. If the School Board is clapping over some student performance or award recognition, then you can clap.
  7. You are limited to 3 minutes. Three minutes goes by very quickly. If you prepare a speech in advance, it should be under one page typed.
  8. Eat dinner first or bring a snack! These things can go on forever. The public hearing is supposed to begin no later than 6:30 but they don’t always follow their own rules. It can begin as early as 4:30 but that doesn’t happen very often.
  9. You don’t have to speak. If you are like me and hate the thought of public speaking, you can still show up to show your support. You can even bring a sign to make a statement without having to say anything at all. I plan on wearing a sign that shows my years of teaching and my salary.
  10.  Fax in the form no later than Monday 4:30 pm. There is still time to fax the form if you have procrastinated or just haven’t found the balls to do it yet, here is the link to the form  If you can’t make it to the meeting this Wednesday, the district will be holding town hall meetings all week.  Try to attend one in your neighborhood.

For those of you who do plan to attend this Wednesday’s School Board meeting, thank you for standing up for your profession. Remember this quote from the Lorax:


budget meetings