Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by futureteach24, Jul 8, 2012.
Jul 8, 2012
Good luck on the upcoming school year, btw!!!
Let's start with the basics: what are you teaching? Do you have a copy of the syllabus? And a copy of the text book?
I will be teaching 7/8 ELD and 7th grade English next year (both for the first time). I was just recently picked up, so I don't know exactly what lessons I'll be doing, but we have pacing guides in my district, which makes it much easier to plan. In the past, I've asked other teachers at the school what they do, and then I make a packet. We work through the packet as we go through the unit, and the kids turn it in at the end. It makes for a ton of grading at the end of the unit, but keeps me pretty open to plan lessons during.
Jul 9, 2012
I spend each summer looking for new lab and project ideas to add to my classes. Next year I want to add a new unit to one class, so I am trying to figure out how to fit the content in so sequencing makes sense. Then I will prep a rough calendar by quarter so I can organize supply lists for labs and have a general idea when I need to use a computer lab/cart. I have already met with another teacher to brainstorm ideas and goals for a class we both teach. That was most helpful.
Once I have a copy of the syllabus, I make a chart in Word. The first column is lesson number, then title, homework, and misc. (like "needs graph paper.")
From there I draw up a rough guesstimate of how I'll get through the material. Some topics I know going in will take 2 lessons. I also throw in a test every 2 weeks.
Then I check what I have against the school calendar, ensuring that I can fit my plans into the time given in each trimester.
I know it's only a ballpark estimate. For example, my tentative test dates may fall onto an assembly day (with short periods) or my homework may not be right on target. That's OK-- at least I'll have a page number and an idea of where I'm going.
From there, I take out a binder and start working out the lessons. I don't do strict lesson plans (but then again, I'm not handing any in.) Rather, I explain the course to myself, including any warnings of things I know the kids will need to look out for (like distributing a negative sign.)
From there, as each lesson approaches, I can include any add-ins.
I keep a multi-year calendar in which I keep track (in very brief notations) of my lessons. The following year, I can go back and see how long a certain unit took and reference any notes I made regarding a lesson. During the summer, I read, think, and revise. For example, for the last several years I've had students do a small group etymology poster project right at the start of the year, but I'm thinking of changing that and having each student do a mini-poster on a word root that will stay up most of the year. I try to envision how that will work, how long it will take, and what the benefits will be.
I calendar out my entire year much like Mrs. K. does by referencing my previous year's calendar. I'm amazed year after year how few teachers plan more than even a week ahead. Every year teachers "run out of time" at the end of the semester and I'm get to breathe fairly easily.
Of course the calendar changes the first day I'm back to work and we learn of our minimum days, textbook check out days, band performance days, etc. but having that outline, even if only skeletal is a huge benefit.
All of the teachers who teach my subject and grade plan collectively and have a common syllabus. Some of the team has been working on it this summer (they get a small stipend for their work). We'll meet in person next month to hammer out some basics and then iron out the details online for the week before the students start. I love working as a team because we can assure that all the students at our school get an equal opportunity to learn. The most creative members of the team help out those who feel a little overwhelmed with the bells and whistles. All of us plan the content so nobody is left out.
Jul 13, 2012
I suppose this is still part of the thread. But, last year, I had a problem with my feet - standing all day, I lacked blood circulation on my toes. Now, did putting insoles on your shoes helped with this problem? I'm thinking of buying a pair or two. Thanks.
Jul 29, 2012
I would also add (to above responses) to check with the principal and find out what all the parents want. Many principals seem to hate dealing with parents. Actually, a smart principal will inform the faculty of parent demands, let the faculty decide. Then the calls that come in to the principal from parents can be answered by saying it was all the faculty's idea.