One Doesn’t Plan to Fail…They Fail To Plan.
One of my English teachers, from the bygone days of yore, frequently said the line that I used as a title for this post. It’s fitting, because the classes at any school that don’t run properly often have a direct correlation to bad planning on the instructor’s part. Planning doesn’t cure all ills…but it cures a multitude of them.
So…having done my “pull out” meeting, I now am proudly in possession of some four weeks of lesson plans, directly related to an analysis of the award winning graphic novel, “Persepolis.” It’s still pretty unclear if the other staff members actually read the text as of this writing…which is after the Unit Planning Meeting, but to be honest…that’s only my problem to a very limited degree. There was some useful contribution from the other parts of the table, and in truth, that’s the most that I can ask.
There are two essays planned for the unit, as well as a “Post-It” note driven annotation system for note taking (gradable) and a final project that has yet to be fully outlined. That final project would be the production of a student driven Graphic Novel, for both digital and print distribution. Given my students, this is an ambitious, but not unattainable goal. I like the idea, because it really gets to the heart of what I’m trying to get students to understand about writing…the power inherent in being able to express their ideas, the freedom to tell the stories that matter to them.
My new co-teacher and I were the driving force of the collaboration, mostly because she has almost as many years in, and is relentless about productivity as I am. She is in the other major section of Tenth Grade English two periods of the day…a section that has had a parade of long term subs. For her own sanity, she wanted a plan to more or less take over the class, a set of lessons that she can just do, and have the substitute assist in managing. I’m certainly sympathetic to that, and most importantly, it prevents the students in those classes from losing any more of the year to a staffing problem.
Also today, we went downstairs to get an “in service” training on administering the PSAT. That was time in my life that I will never get back, an hour of being talked through a test administrator’s booklet that I could just as easily read myself. I suppose, knowing educators as I do, that you need to sit down and make them read it, otherwise, they will just as soon expect that it would be read for them.
Still…I’ve had far worse training days, and productivity was high. In addition, the Edu-Lords seemed happy with the work product, which isn’t so bad at all.