How do you stay sane with one prep?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by greendream, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Oct 28, 2012

    One prep meaning one class that you teach 5 or 6 times. For instance, I teach college prep American Lit this year... and that's all. 6 classes of the same subject, and the same level. By the time I teach my class that 6th time, I'm so numb to the content that it's like I'm sleepwalking through it. How do you keep it fresh?
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I didn't. It drove me batty. Sorry!
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I can't imagine!! Is there any way you can request more than one prep for next semester?
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I went a little crazy and I only had four of the same prep. By the fourth time Othello died I was just like, well... yeah... let's move on. It's much easier if the kids are engaged. My kids actually loved Othello so that made it less painful.
     
  6. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    I was just talking to someone about this the other day. I teach pre-algebra, but only 3 times a day. However, since I have had this position for 5 years, it is getting a bit stale. Lucky for me, my classes have a very wide variety of ability levels. I use the extra time that I don't have to spend planning to really focus on differentiation. Also, now that we are starting to implement Common Core, I have a whole new challenge!

    That being said, I think I will probably move to a higher level math in the next couple of years. I have a Single Subject Math Credential and would like to actually use it at some point ;)
     
  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I had this "problem" when I taught 7th grade a long time ago. I started to think of using 2 different anticipatory sets. One for the first 2 classes I had and the other for the next 2. It was great. I was able to find out which worked better. I then decided to change it a bit in the weeks to come. I would have an anticipatory set that really excited them and engaged them for the 2 classes I had who entered the classroom nearly asleep. I then started using an anticipatory set that calmed the students more with the 2 classes I had that were more energetic and talkative. As you know if you can get the students attention in the first 2 minutes with a good anticipatory set that is over half the battle.
     
  8. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Can you order the classes differently? When you're teaching a drama in 2 sections, teach poetry in the others?
     
  9. perplexed

    perplexed Comrade

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    I know a lot of teachers who would love to have one prep. Some would say that you're lucky. Often times, they will have 5-6 different classes a day to plan for. I would differentiate as much as possible and change things up as much as possible so it's always different. I have five classes in a row that are the same, and I don't really get bored from them because each class is so different. The content is the same, but how I run it differs based on the group of students.
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I've always loved it. You only have to prep for 1 thing, and 2 or 3. Usually I feel that the 1st period is sort of a guinea pig, and also I often set my timing standard to them. It's hard to tell sometimes how much I can cover in one period, so I see how much we got done in 1st and try to keep it the same with the rest. Especially if 1st period is a usually on task, well behaved class, I definitely keep that as standard (I know other teacher don't mind if they stop at different places with the other classes.)

    By the time I get to 3rd period I can do the whole thing in my sleep, but I don't consider it a bad thing, that means I have to work less hard. With each class period the whole lesson just gets richer, because the student often contribute to the discussions with great ideas, questions, and I can incorporate them. (so the next day I might include those extras with 1st / 2nd period during review).
    I feel like if I was only teaching the same content to 1 or 2 periods they'd always be the 'guinea pig'.


    I know one teacher who is not consistent at all with what she teaches, she talks a lot, (way too much) so she probably doesn't remember what she tells each class. Well, it's mostly rambling, getting off topic, getting back in a weird twist... By the time she gets to 3rd period she's exhausted, one thing that she spent 5 minutes on to make a point now she barely mentions, expecting the student to understand, and they don't. She would probably be better with different preps.
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I teach the same lesson four times a day, but since each of my periods has a different "personality," it's not exactly the same.
     
  12. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    I taught three classes of sixth grade science. That almost made me crazy! Ito make it easier, I taught one area to the first and third groups. The second group was taught a different topic. For example, I would spend about two weeks on life science with groups 1and 3. Group 2 would be working on earth and space. Then I would flip flop them for the next two weeks. It takes careful planning, but the upside was the classes were always eager to begin what the other class was doing because they would see things around the room that peaked their curiosity.
    I don't think the original poster is complaining about only having one planning period as in one isn't enough. I think the issue is repeatedly teaching the same exact topic without a sizeable break to break up the monotony. I, too, would love to have one planning period a day! Even a 35 minute lunch break would be heaven. Thirty minutes is just not enough to eat, restroom, and take a deep breath!
     
  13. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I would die. This is why I will never move to Gen Ed in middle/high school.
     
  14. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I teach the same lesson 6-7 times a day. At first I had a lot of trouble with it. I couldn't remember if I had said something to that particular class, or if I had said it to the class before! I'm starting to get used to it now. I do like that I only have to plan one lesson a day. Then it lets me focus a lot of my energy planning my after school groups, which are really important to my school.
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I usually have the same things that I say. what's interesting is that it's not rehearsed or pre-scripted by me, I just say want I want to say, and then somehow in second period I remember and say the same things. then by 3rd is second nature. This way I know I don't miss important things, anything additional is just extra and not necessarily important.
    It's funny how different classes respond to the same things totally differently. One thing may be funny in some classes, and some others don't get it. One lesson may end up very interactive in one class, and in others you could hear crickets.
     
  16. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    I teach the same exact thing 5 times a day for the last 5 years. Each class has a different personality so I really don't mind.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :thumb:
     
  18. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    At my school very, very few teachers only have one prep. Most of us have 2-3 and typically we don't treat honors sections as a separate prep. For example, one of my good friends in the department teaches Western Civ. II CP/Honors, US I CP, and Sociology CP/Honors (it's one class with both levels).
     
  19. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I like it. My classes are all different levels, so I need to approach it differently. I rarely have two classes that are exactly the same. Even with the same material, the discussion and activities are different.
     
  20. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I have fun with it! I teach the same basic lesson six times per day, but, as others pointed out, each class has its own personality. Also, while the basic lesson remains the same, I certainly don't teach it the same to each hour. If I get tired of presenting things in a certain manner, I change it.
     
  21. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    It's highly unlikely, since I'm the only one who teaches my grade level.
     
  22. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    I have thought about doing this very thing, but when considering state testing and all the stuff we need to cover at specific times, there's not a lot of wiggle room when it comes to the schedule.
     
  23. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I'm glad I only have one class to teach right now since it's my first year. I'm still creating all the curriculum and getting my feet wet. I wouldn't be able to survive I think, if I had to prep for two different classes.
     
  24. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    During my first year of teaching I only taught one class, 7th Grade Geography, and it drove me crazy having to repeat the same things 5 times a day. By last period it was like an out-of-body-expierence where I was standing up there talking but I was mentally checked out and bored.

    Since then, I have always taught 2 grades/subjects each year (either 6th and 7th or 7th and 8th) and this is not by choice. Teaching two different preps and having to plan for both is 10x worse than only teaching one, IMO. Not to mention, I have double the kids the Math and ELA teachers have because they only teach one grade. If I taught HS, I may not mind as much when it comes to teaching multiple subjects because the HS is structured differently (my school is 6-12).

    I would give anything to only have to teach one subject/grade again.
     
  25. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    Sometimes I feel the same way. I have 3 preps, but with our a/b schedule I teach each individual class 4 times. It's a bit exhausting and numbing for sure.
     

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