Sunday, August 5, 2012

Getting Ready For School: The Calm Before The Storm

John T. Spencer has a thoughtful post, "The Week Before Kids Arrive." Every teacher should read it.

Among other things, his post has prompted me to think about using space better. As a start, I'll probably try using this method to make the desk usable throughout the whole year. I also have to look at student desk placement. Finally, Spencer reminded me I need to purge more stuff even though I purged a few drawers last spring.

I'm also going to write up specific checklists. I did several after reading The Checklist Manifesto, but I didn't use them last year and got swamped by mundane activities.

I'm also going to spend a full day going over last year's screw-ups, blow-ups, and oops moments. As a human being, those moments are legion, so I'll limit the number to about 20. I am going to write out plans to avoid having those elements reoccur. If necessary, I'll go shopping.

For example, I have students email some essays; I use the comments feature to write comments as I grade them, and then I email them back. I had two corrected sets on a flash drive that died. I don't want to repeat that experience, so I bought a portable hard drive that should be more stable. It's a bit more cumbersome, but it worked well at debate camp.

On a philosophical level, I want to do some things to implement what I learned when I read Susan Cain's Quiet during the summer. Stephen Hurley sums up the book here and here. I have little to add. Hurley also posts Cain's TED Talk: She has three action steps that at the 16:43 mark.

I need to spend time developing methods that will make my room an introvert safe zone for students.


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

cindythea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Larson said...

Thank you. This has been some excellent material and advice before school starts.