How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time…
When I started back teaching in August after a 5 year sabbatical, I had a whopping two days to get prepared. I would be teaching 3 different middle school science classes (Integrated Science, Physical Science and Biology), plus I was to oversee the online high school science. New textbooks had been ordered for two of the classes but had not arrived (and would not arrive for a couple weeks). The previous teachers had left little usable material and the science lab was a wreck! But…I was excited beyond belief to be teaching again! I had so many ideas that I wanted to implement.
After about 3 weeks, reality came crashing into me.
It was impossible to do everything I wanted THIS year. I just do not have enough hours in a day. Every set of notes, every activity, every lab, every test I give has to be found or made from scratch. Not to mention I have to pour over the content to make sure I understand it (remember it has been a few years since I taught science!). There is no one to share this chore with since I am the lone middle/upper school science teacher.
Currently my weekends are filled with writing out lesson plans for the next week, gathering the materials for the activities, pulling together the tests and if I have time (literally…like it is not 11pm on Sunday night) I might get the notes prepared for the week. Often times that happens during the week though. Grading comes in spurts in the evening as I have time. Throw in being a mom, wife, Girl Scout leader and PhD student, all of which often comes in second and should not, well…there is not a lot of time left.
From the very beginning of the school year, I have wanted to implement a “flipped classroom” model. Just trying to maintain my sanity and NOT have a panic attack, has not allowed any additional time to CREATE the videos needed for the students to watch. As the title mentions, I am in the process of eating a very large elephant.
Having just returned from TCEA (an educators technology conference held every year in Austin), I have a renewed excitement to TRY and start making videos for my students. I actually tried recording something, but struggled with how I was doing and the whole thing crashed and burned the night before I left…leaving my sub to give the notes via a boring power point.
Now that I have finished cutting, pasting, laminating and cutting again, (and written this short blog post) I am off to try and make a few videos before midnight. 🙂