4 preps, how do you do it?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by AnnNorCal, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. AnnNorCal

    AnnNorCal Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2014

    This year I have 4 preps. While I know it will get easier down the road, I'm currently exhausted. I feel like the work never stops. I'm heading toward burnout, even though I enjoy the actual teaching part of my job. I feel like a bad teacher when I don't always have interesting plans for each class. How do you guys do it with so many preps?
     
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  3. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Sep 6, 2014

    The most preps I've had was 8. I thought there was no way I could do it. But you manage. Now that I only have one prep I feel like I have so much extra time! :lol: With multiple preps I also felt so stretched I never was able to make great lessons for each class. I don't think there's much you can do about that. Do the best you can and get organized!!! :)
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Sep 6, 2014

    It's actually not bad at all for me this year. I had six preps my first year, then four, three, and now four again (one is an honors course of a regular course I teach though so I double up some of it). Honestly, I feel like you just get used to it. And I love teaching different things. It's so nice this year reusing some things. I still rework a lot though.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Sep 7, 2014

    I heard the secret was TeachersPayTeachers (from those who teach many preps, I don't teach that many).

    You buy curriculum and simply teach from it. You can't plan the ultimate lesson for every class if you have to teach that many preps. So I would do a little triage, find the preps I care more about and buy pre-made curriculum for the rest.

    You can always alter as necessary.
     
  6. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Sep 7, 2014

    The free version of TpT is called Google and is much more effective. I really, really dislike the whole concept of TpT. If teachers are struggling shouldn't we just help them?

    To the original point, it is really tough. I have 4 preps this year ranging from EL social studies 7 to AVID 8 and it is certainly keeping me busy. Only one of the preps is new to me though so at least I have a solid base to work with on the other 3. Keep a calendar and make sure you are spreading the lesson love across all 4.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Sep 7, 2014

    TpT generally has more complete curriculum that you can get though. With Google, you can get disjointed lessons here and there and piece it together on your own. But the free thing is nice.
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I don't know if you mean it this way, but I would be hesitant to say you care more about one prep. I care about my preps equally. I buy from TPT on occasion but it's fairly evenly split as to which prep I'm buying for. I have trouble with the compare standard (analyze how an author treats another famous work) so I bought a package that works for all my preps.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Sep 7, 2014

    One of my preps is an elective course, where the VP just told me to do whatever.

    I care more about my core courses than the elective course because the students have state tests in the core course, though I do innovate quite a bit for my elective course because I've essentially turned it into an engineering and technology class. For my core courses, I create all of my own curriculum. For my elective course, I find resources where I can based on the ideas I have of projects to do.
     
  10. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Sep 7, 2014

    I hated having 4 preps!

    However, one of mine had a pretty thorough pacing guide and textbook. It helped to just follow that for one class and even if it was a little dull, it was what I was supposed to be doing, at least. That got one of them crossed off the to-do list fairly efficiently.

    That year, the other three preps had no overlapping kids, so I was able to do the same lesson plans some of the time with multiple classes. For example, every class could work on the same vocabulary list if I chose the right list. Rather than words from a specific chapter, I used words with common roots or prefixes, or a list of useful academic vocabulary words, like "analyze" so that once in a while, I could plan one lesson and use it multiple times. I could also often use the same warm-up for the those three classes, like an SAT practice question.

    That meant that some days I really only had two completely different lessons to prep, and then I could save a little time and energy for prepping lessons for other days.

    There are some kinds of routines that are a little boring but at least predictable, like read and answer the questions from the chapter, that you can sprinkle in among the more interesting lessons.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Sep 7, 2014

    Well, if you taught the same kids all day and had to teach more than 4 subjects then you'd have a lot more lessons to write. I would be getting off easy if I only had 4 preps.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 7, 2014

    I have 3, and compared to 2 from last year, it's a lot. Last year I had English, and Credit Recovery which required no prep, and before I had other electives which required very minimal.
    Now I have 3 preps, and I think they're equally important, even though 2 are electives.

    I'm making it work, week by week, day by day, I have a lot of flexibility in the curriculum, so some weeks / days some preps get easier work (with easier planning), but it all evens out.

    I'd also second TPT. I use a lot of their free stuff, but have purchased lessons in the past. I would have no problems paying $10-30 for a unit of lessons that will save me an entire month or 6 of planning. Of pay $5, and do minimal planning to supplement the purchased plans.
     

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