This week was our first week back from spring break. It was rough. It all started with Sunday night. I had a difficult time falling asleep. Once I was asleep, I woke up at some point each hour. I remember reading the clock at some point when it was 12-something, 1-something, 2-something, 3:40-something, and then 4:49; eleven minutes before my alarm went off.
This really set the tone for my entire week. Of course, I had my final mini-observation on Monday. It went very well despite my sleep deprivation. Our administration pieces together six 10-minute observations to inform our evaluations. They come in twice at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the class periods. This time he was looking for closure on my lesson (because it was missing the first time he came for an end of class observation), and I was able to present it well.
All in all, it wasn't a bad week. It was just eventful. Like on Friday, when our math department was greeted with the news that we were having a surprise half-day meeting. First thing in the morning. For the first four periods. Meaning sub plans were required, and my plans for the day were pretty much shot. The funny thing is that these meetings were planned in advance at the beginning of the year. It was in my planner. But every other meeting was altered to either a different day, a different time, or even a different purpose before this one. Honestly, I was kind of hoping that everyone else forgot about it, and that we could just go on teaching as usual. No such luck.
My only real gripe was that for the first time since I established a new planning routine, my routine didn't quite work out. The goal of my routine is to leave school on Friday with all plans planned, all copies made, and all SMART Notebook files ready to go for the following week. It is now 7 pm on Sunday, and I just made it to my goal. The frustrating thing is that I would already be prepping for the following week if everything had gone as planned. Truthfully, though, I am happy to have the opportunity to examine the flaws of my routine, and plan for solutions (if possible).
Here is what I think went wrong:
- I was exhausted all week after my interrupted Sunday night sleep. I never caught up on my sleep, and it made it impossible for me to focus on my tasks. Solution: Naps are sometimes necessary.
- So many things kept popping up that took away my planning time. (Copier malfunctions, Prom Dress Drive organization, a trip to Urgent Care, Senior Trip preparations, sitting like a bump on a log and staring off in space out of exhaustion instead of getting work done, etc.) Solution: There is none. This is why my routine was meant to be flexible in the first place. This was just the first week that I encountered daily obstacles.
- Hesitation. I had two topics in General Geometry that I wasn't sure how to approach. I took time to think them over, and started creating activities for each of them that didn't pan out. When I found a flaw in the plan, I had to go back and start over. I now have a matching activity and a worksheet. I'm not in love with the worksheet, but it will get the job done. Next year, (or hopefully over the summer), I can create something that I love to replace the worksheet. Solution: I plan to tweak things over the summer in all of my courses, but this is something that could still happen. This is something that I don't think I can really control. Also, Teachers Pay Teachers is a fabulous back-up plan. (Even though it let me down this time.)