Year3-Week7: Course Adjustments

2018-09-24 STEAMLab_wk07 teacher-training

Year3-Week7: Course Adjustments

2018-09-24 STEAMLab_wk07 teacher-training

2018-09-24 STEAMLab_wk07 teacher-training

I’ve gone on record saying that you make (teaching) plans so that you can pivot and change them based on the circumstances. This was that kind of week. For the past couple weeks I had been running the ragged edge trying to roll out the three thematic curriculum programs for my six grade levels and getting this year’s robotics team up and running. For the robot students, I was getting to school an hour early Monday through Thursday so that they could do their robot builds and begin programming (which they have excelled in!), then staying late to manage the 28 WeDo robot kits and then continuing to work at home on over-due paperwork, calendars and things still needing to get done following my recent move, usually past midnight.

Monday evening my body decided that it had had enough with this schedule and pace and made it impossible for me to be away from the bathroom (to put it delicately). I don’t know if it was bug I caught from one of my sniffling students or something I ate but I was out of commission for two days, deadlines be damned. So, whatever it was that I was going to do this week… I was going to say, “went right in the toilet,” but that’s not a visual I want to think about right now. So, just like that, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s classes are given “Math apps/games” to play in my absence and whatever I had hope to do “evaporated.” Damn. Luckily I was back together enough on Thursday to keep the WeDo robots program on track and begin the four-week cycle with new fifth and fourth grade classes. Small victories.

So, here we are only seven weeks into the new school year and the pressure (mostly self-inflicted) has been enough that my own body betrayed me. Course correction time… or something. As much as I hate the paperwork, the objective-alignments, etc., these required steps push me to be a better educator. I was in an after-school meeting a couple weeks ago where every licensed educator was present learning and role-playing how to better assess the reading levels of our students. I looked around the room at all of these highly educated, mostly veteran educators, breaking things down to the most basic elements of the learning process. I was impressed at the expense being spent by administration to fund this meeting/training and how the general public has no idea of the extent of the effort these professionals are putting into bettering their practice teaching this community of mostly disadvantaged learners. That moment encapsulated the effort being spent to address the learning needs of this community.

Things are nowhere close to where i want them to be as far as my plans for the year, and I’m definitely not physically running on all cylinders, but I love these kids and that’s enough to spend another weekend writing lesson plans and alignment-schemes.

Slowing Down at the Wrong Time

Image by iStockphoto/Microsoft

Friday morning, before the kids come in, I’m thinking about all the things I need to get done. I could just prioritize everything on the pending due dates, but there’s also the varying levels of emotional energy need to for each task to take into account. In fact, since returning from AZ I’m horrified to discover that I seem to have the same “one task” a day syndrome that my folks have, in that after work I seem to be able to accomplish only one task before pooping out and wanting to crawl into bed. Scary thought, that I seem to be slowing down just when I need to ramp way up. Ack.

So, in approximate order of due dates, here’s a partial list of things-to-do:

Music: I Feel Fantastic from the album “Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Cybernetic Arms” by Jonathan Coulton

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