Sunday, January 3, 2016

Projecting the Plans

It's eight degrees outside, but the sun is coming up and the snow is pink. I sit here sipping my coffee reflecting on the last couple of weeks of winter break. My to-do list shrank over the break, which is gratifying since I made sure I didn't do all the work at once, wearing myself out. I completed many significant tasks, tying up projects left over from fall and even some from last summer.
Then yesterday I spent a couple of hours planning for spring semester, and afterwards I posted a picture of Monday's lessons on Facebook. I did not anticipate the response this picture would generate! Some teachers like Lisa commented that they were envious, Sean chastised me for going in, and still others like MeMe and Tricia were pleased to see it for various reasons. Then we started sharing our own planning processes. Meghan even decided to crowdsource planning styles for an upcoming Scholastic blog post!
Planning is a key part of good teaching. For me, it is the most satisfying part. I know, I know -- the kids are supposed to be first on that list. But I can't feel good about my work with kids if I don't know what I'm doing, and I'm the kind of teacher who can't sleep at night if every detail of the next day isn't ready to go, from the lesson plans to the conversations I need to have to the prep-time minutes I must use for assessment.

Teaching is really a kind of big project. Each class over the course of a year or semester is a project, and each unit within the course is its own project. Other tasks teachers do are projects too, whether it's coaching, club advisory, or a PLC. When I think about it, I have always loved projects: making quilts, painting rooms, even putting on productions like TEDxArlee. I love the focus, the beginning-and-end, the way they diversify my life. It makes sense that I see teaching as a project and that I love it for that reason.

Happy January 4, classroom friends and colleagues. May you find joy in renewal of your own projects!

1 comment:

  1. Do you have OCD? I wish was as organized as you and got work done throughout the course of the week other than procrastinating and sitting here catching up on late work... exactly like I am right now. But when I do get things organized it is very satisfying I'd have to agree.