Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Preparation is Paramount

This past week has taught me that preparation is paramount. I was so overwhelmed with my first few weeks of teaching that I was spending hours, like 8 of them, planning for one class period. I was stressed out, exhausted, mad at myself and I was not enjoying my job at all. Then, I went in the opposite direction for a week or two. I just made broad, general plans and resolved within myself that I would not touch anything related to work once I left school. That decision resulted in a happier home life, but made school life a bit chaotic. I found myself concerned that I didn't have enough for the students to do. They were happy, but I knew that I was short changing them and me. So, this week, I tried to merge the over analytical side of me with the lackadaisical side of me to see what would happen. It was a huge success!!! I planned a general lesson over the weekend and then went in and planned out a day in specific detail. I learned that detail came more easily when I worked from the broader plan. I recognized a big change in the students' interest level, as well. They were more engaged. I learned that there is a happy medium between over planning and not planning at all.  I am still working at becoming more efficient with it, but at least I know that I can do it. I like the "I know what we are doing next" feeling better than the "I hope this works and I wish I had something else for them to do" feeling.  Balanced preparation is the key.....too much is stressful and not enough is equally as stressful. I just might be onto something with this teaching thing!


TSS said...

I am so happy you are no longer spending 8 hours on planning. I can attest that it does feel good when you know what’s coming next. Sometimes giving the students a little down time can turn into 30-45 minutes of doing nothing. I myself have learned the transitions are equally important. I truly understand why we had to allocate time in our lesson plans.
I know you have much to offer your students and you will be GREAT!!

Shirley said...

Wow TJ. Just by reading your blog, I felt is if you took my situation and wrote out the words for me. Words cannot express how I sympathize with you. There have been many times, even recently, where I suffered the consequences of not planning out my lessons fully. At the same time, I too have seen a difference when I take the time to plan my lessons and take joy in seeing the students engage and learn from it.

I also agree about taking breaks and enjoying your family. Balance is always healthy and allows your mind some freedom to create and get back to realty.