I am not prepared.
I have spent much of this summer recharging and rejuvenating myself. I have spent time with my children, watching them play and enjoy the summer heat and experience the beach and the ocean. I have done weeks of professional development, gaining ideas and support from colleagues from around the world. I traveled halfway across the country to share my experiences and passions with other math teachers. I spent a week in a hotel with math teachers working on better ways to provide feedback to our students.
I am not prepared for the new year.
At the start of summer, I made a mental list of the things that I wanted to do to get my class ready for this year. I wanted to develop my Standards-Based Grading scheme. I wanted to work on my classroom management to make it a more positive environment for those students who need that the most.
I wanted to start the year with a solid plan.
That's not who I am.
I am a man of the moment. I live right now, thinking about tomorrow, but planning for today. It's one of the things that I hate about myself, but have yet to change.
As a student, I always liked the first few days of school. It was a time when I had nothing that I needed to do except show up with awesome new school supplies.
As a teacher, I dread the first few weeks. Once the year is underway and the students know what to expect from me, the routines solidified, I am good to go. Each day leads into the next and my style of teaching carried me through the year with minimal bumps.
But those first few weeks are awful for me. I am almost constantly anxious and spent much of my energy putting on a good face for the students who are looking to me to impose my own order on the room.
Instead of using this as a motivator to push me to better organization, I find it paralyzing. I find ways to distract myself, productively or otherwise. I do the equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears, shutting my eyes and yelling "NAH NAH NAH NAH!" to block out the impending change of reality.
|I think my lesson plans are down here!|
I don't regret the choices that I made this summer.
I am deeply thankful for the time that I was able to spend with my kids. I greatly value the people I met and experiences that I had at Twitter Math Camp and the EnCOMPASS Summer Institute. I am eternally grateful to my wife for finding a way and allowing me to spend 2 solid weeks on the road to make those experiences happen.
I do wish that I could make better choices about preparing for the coming school year.