September 3, 2012

Finally, Caught Up

Thanks to Hurricane Isaac and Labor Day, I had the past six days to rest, recuperate, and get myself caught up on school work. I was able to spend a couple days at home with Babe, which is a luxury with our (okay... mostly his) work schedules since everything shut down in the state. It was nice to be able to relax together, even if I was crabby without power for part of it!

After a couple days to relax, both mentally and physically, I felt rejuvenated enough to dive into school work. Since starting the year, I've felt behind. I know this feeling comes with starting a teaching job after the school year has begun, but I don't like it at all. I'm the kind of person who plans way in advance, so it's been hard for me to feel like I've been grasping at straws just to make ends meet each day.

For the first time in my teaching career, I have to submit formal lesson plans, on a template provided by my administration for every single day. In Illinois, I only had to submit lessons for my scheduled observations, twice a year, so this is a huge change for me. The biggest issue, I've found, is that I feel like I'm forcing myself to make lessons that fit their teaching model rather than doing what comes naturally to me from experience. The template, unfortunately, doesn't lend itself very well to a ELA classroom as easily as it does to math simply because we cover many objectives in one day rather than one (and because so many of our lessons are not confined to only one day or activity). I do not normally include modeling, guided practice, and independent practice in every lesson. Still, I've been struggling through this because it is the expectation. To be honest, I feel a little like I'm making it up just to appease my administration, which I feel is a waste of time... but what do I know?

Today was the first day of the school year I actually submitted my weekly lessons (which are typically due by noon on Saturdays for the following week). It took me way longer than I'd like to admit, but hours of work, I've finally met the requirement. Now, the task will be to stay on top of this every week.

The great news is that I used my extra time off to come up with some really cool lessons I hope my students will enjoy.

I would love to be this productive every weekend... think we can make them all six days???

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