11.13.2010

Lesson Plan Burn Out

The title says it all. I am burned out on writing my lesson plans. And I have been for about 6 weeks. My book isn't all blank, but it doesn't look like I think about teaching my kids much. Which isn't true. Writing the plans in my book has seemed like the least favorite thing I could do at any given moment. And it shouldn't, at least not for this long. I need to get my butt back in gear and write my plans again!

My plans aren't anything wonderful, but I know what I am doing. For me, it's more the fact that when I write them out, I know what I am doing. I don't need to go back over my lesson plans each day to see what I have done or what I will do. I just know what I am going to do and I make sure I get it done. I am very anal in that aspect. I do what I need to in order to get it all done each day. Yes, there are some days when we do something different, but that's my perogative. I'm in charge, I can change things as I see fit!

I've said it before, but I am burned out with my reading program. This is the 9th year we are using it. I have my favorite stories that I like to do activities with, but then there are others that I just despise. I don't know why really, other than the stories don't appeal to me. I try not to let my kids know that, but sometimes it slips! So, I try to do my own thing when I can to make it a little more exciting!

As for math, it's all pretty much scripted for us. I just follow the plan in the book and per the district pacing guide and I teach it to the best of my ability. I do need to sit down and have a heart to heart with myself about math. My kids scored poor on the last benchmark test we took, and that's my fault. I haven't hammered in some of the details for math that they need. But it's hard for me to explain it. It sounds pretty sad that a first grade teacher can't explain math to a 6 year old, but our math isn't the most concrete program. ABSTRACT! They teach them how to subtract with addition, which would be great if they knew their addition facts, but they don't. So how do they know how to add right to subtract when they dont' know how to add?

Anway, science and social studies have been shuffled around a bit to fit the needs of the pacing-guide-that-wasn't-meant-to-be-this-year. I wish they told us before we started planning and getting things in order! Oh well. That's the district for you! I started out the year planning really well and feeling confident about it. Now, it's just "let's do our exciting lesson on telling directions". Oh yeah, and not to mention, I forgot to plan in teaching about Thanksgiving this year since I was so focused on teaching the standards! Oops!

In the summer, I sat down with my TE's, my files and whatever else I needed for a particular unit and handwrote out everything I wanted to do. I had my materials I needed, what I wanted the kids to know and the coordinating standards all mapped out. Then I could go off that for my plans. And it worked. I did it for the first month of school (before it started) and felt more prepared than I had in a long time. Then school started. Life got busier. And my plans sucked. I need to get back to that, but finding the time to sit down bym myself is lacking. Or when I do have time, I'd rather pick up a book than plan. I need some down time, too! I've tried to get to work early, stay later, etc, but it doesn't always work! And now, thanks to the time change, school's out at 3:15 and the sun is down by 4. Who wants to be at work when the sun is gone? (I can go home and still have dun for about 25 more minutes. My school is at the base of a mountainy hill!).

So, I sit here this morning and ponder how I will get back into planning. My principal wants us to have plans, but she hasn't checked yet at all. I know I do better with plans, but I just don't feel it yet. Maybe after having this 4 day weekend and then Thanksgiving week off and then Christmas/winter break, I will feel better. I hope so. I've gotta get planning so I feel excited about things!

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