I have officially made it through my first full week of teaching. I still have all of my hair. I haven't screamed at the top of my lungs. I haven't shed a single tear. I've managed to meet all of my required deadlines, and teach everything that was on my plans for the week. But, now that my first week is over, I'm hit with the realization on how much there really is to do every single day just to say afloat. There is no room for procrastination. Which, if I plan on having any form of life outside of teaching, I must start to take care of RIGHT NOW.
Even though I made it through this first week, next week will be completely different. Starting on Monday, I will have a co-teacher in my room for half of the day, every day. The co-teacher will be doing the same thing I did last year. It's a great program to help give extra guidance and support to the kids. Having two teachers means a smaller teacher to student ratio, and it means that more attention can be paid to any students that may need variety or small group/individual instruction.
So, even though I got through this week, I have no idea what next week has in store. I really don't know what to expect with how the lessons will be taught and who will do what. Which has also made planning extremely hard. I've been stuck in between should I just go ahead and plan and inform the co-teacher each day of what I'm doing, or make an appointment to sit down with the co-teacher and plan together?
I went with trying to plan with the co-teacher... but lack of time and mismatched schedules has left me sitting here - on a Saturday morning - without a single plan written for next week. I guess I'm going to have to go with option A for this week - and see how it plays out.
Last year, it was an easy process. I worked with small groups all day, and then co-taught with one class in the afternoon. The teacher told me each day what we'd be covering, she'd teach the lesson - and I would jump in if I had any comments or ideas. Then, we'd both walk around the room and help the kids out individually. There were occasions where she would ask me to step up and teach a lesson - if it was something she knew I really liked doing or had some experience with. I really enjoyed working with her in that type of environment. I felt that my ideas were always respected, but she took the lead on planning and the main aspect of the teaching.
But, I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not there anymore. I have no idea if co-teaching in one school is the same in another. Which has lead to quite a bit of stress all week. What I do know is that both of the co-teachers I will be working with are fabulous, friendly, and supportive. And they've both been teaching A LOT longer than I have. I just haven't had the time to sit down with either of them and pick their brains to find out what they expect.
So, now I'm left with quite the extensive To-Do list...which is what this post was supposed to be about. Ah, how I love to digress.
I have a lot to get done this weekend. Planning, mostly, but also other first-year teacher paperwork, and building my class website and blog, and writing up a newsletter and permission form to send home next week. I want to have time to dip in to some of my resources, look through the text books, and write up plans that are going to meet the students' needs best. That takes a lot of time. I've collected so many fantastic ideas, resources, and supplements over the past few years - I just can't let them go to waste. Then, add the fact, that I want to venture out with the idea of running a class blog, having each of my students have their own blogs. It's a lot to have on my plate.
It's exciting for me to do the creative process of planning. Yes, it may be time consuming - and yes, my weekends should be a time to relax and destress... but I don't plan on spending every weekend doing what I'm going to be doing this weekend. Once I find my groove, I will be able to use the two hours after school each day that I'm waiting for Peanut to return from volleyball practice to get all of my work done so that I'm not in this situation any more.
So, I guess I better get to gettin'. My to-do list isn't going to finish itself, after all.
Till next time. ;)
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