I hate to admit this, but in the past, when I had a short school week, my lesson plans were simple. Do a quick review in the textbook, or a page in the social studies workbook. What a difference a year makes.
Last year when I was approached with the idea of a 1:1 iPad pilot program, I agreed to limiting my textbooks to the math workbook. Now I am feeling the impact of my decision. I can’t EVER take the easy way out any more. I have to really think about what I need to teach and find different and more creative ways to disseminate information. I have to dig, read, and research topics. I have to ask others for help. I have to know what I am talking about. There is NO easy way out this year.
I have gone home each day since the start of school with very little voice left and my feet throbbing. As I was driving home today, I had an epiphany. I AM REALLY TEACHING THIS YEAR!
I need to backtrack a little. I feel that I always taught, but there were days when I could say, “Read pages blah,blah,blah..” and then I could grade a set of papers, do Friday folders, etc. Now, I can’t. I have to figure out what I need to teach, research it, figure out the best way to teach it, then, imagine this, teach it!
Without textbooks, there is no easy way out. I can’t coast by without really reading the book. I am the book.
This presents a lot of stress, but I have to say that the last two weeks have been good for me. I have had to push myself and leave my comfort zone. The ability to have iPads for every student is priceless. The students and I are on a journey together and right now they are leading me; however, I am trying to catch up and get ahead of them with the help of the 21st Century Team.
I want to thank Michelle and Joni too. I have two amazing assistant teachers. Michelle is phenomenal with finding great apps for rotations during math and Joni is a wizard when it comes to hands-on projects (an area where I always lacked because I am not creative in the least.) Both are mind readers when it comes to helping me out with the students. Before I can even ask them to do something, they’ve done it.