Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lesson Planning In New York

The move from Oregon to New York has been jarring in many ways but I found a little piece of the west cost right here on Long Island and I don't intend to ever leave it.  I got a job at this quirky private school that originated in California and is now branching out to the East Coast.  I'd fantasized that changing schools would mean my work load would be a little less for a few different reasons.  Being the only math and science teacher for a whole school meant a MILLION preps (well between 8 and 15 to be specific) and that made the work week busy.  Also, because I'm crazy and there was nothing in place when I arrived, I'd created the entire 7-12th grade curriculum single-handedly for my old school which made weekends and summers really busy.  Moving schools meant maybe I'd have the normal burden of 2-4 preps and also I dreamed that I'd be moving into a more established school that had a curriculum in place.

He, he he ... he

Well, my new school specializes in teaching one-to-one.  We serve students who have severe anxiety, depression, drug problems, learning disabilities, who are extremely gifted or who are professional athletes, actors or musicians.  Basically, we work with anyone who doesn't quite fit into a traditional school schedule or system.  I love the idea of being able to work with these students who have been so poorly served by the public (or even private) school systems but one-to-one means I have to create a separate curriculum for each student.  And I'm still me.  So even while my new school does have a curriculum, I have to rewrite it all for myself.  Also, I set myself an ambitious goal last year.  I really wanted to make for real lesson plans.  Plans where all my examples, notes, games, warm-ups, worksheets, and homework sheets were in the same document with time windows, standards and everything.  Being a forth year teacher means I can do this now, right?  I'm done with survival mode.  It's time to get serious and professional.

Hmmmmm.  Are all teachers this masochistic?  Most of the blogger teachers out there seem to be.  Guess I'm in good company.  Because of Hurricane Sandy we haven't had school for a week and a half and rather than using this time to relax, reflect, volunteer or work on human being type things, I've lesson planned so obsessively that I have developed severe eye strain.  The best (or worst?) part of it all is that I'm not going to stop.  I know my lesson planning is crazy, but I love finally having things written down and organized the way I want them to be.  This is why I haven't blogged in so long.  No time to blog when you're torturing yourself with word formatting!  Here are some examples of my obsession.  I want to put them all up on scribd eventually because I'd like to know if these lessons are actually feasible or useful.  These lessons do cram in A LOT more material than I would normally ever try to cover at my old school.  This new school restricts us to 25 sessions per student per semester- so we have to pack a lot into each lesson.

 Unfortunately, Scribd can't quite get the formatting right (and I futzed with in in word for forever to get it to come out the way I wanted! :)  But it at least gives you an idea of what I've been pouring all my free time into.  Pre-Alg Lesson 12

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