Have you ever been in the middle of a lesson and thought, “I am so incredibly bored I could cry”?
And no, I’m not bored because of the kids…I’m boring MYSELF by mindlessly plowing through content in an effort to just get it all covered. Bogged down with assessment deadlines, insane amounts of professional development that takes me out of my classroom, and two units that were supposed to be finished yesterday, I have become the world’s most boring teacher.
And then I think, “I am so tired, I can’t possibly say another word.”
Today I was in the middle of a read aloud when I started thinking that I couldn’t stand the story, really had no idea what I was saying and was only reading the book because it had been suggested to me and was written in my plan book. God forbid I stray from the PLAN BOOK (ooooo!!)
Then I realized…NO ONE ELSE is sticking to the plan.
Since when was it part of the plan to dump two extra kids in my class because there isn’t a sub?
Since when was it part of the plan for an administrator to say, “I can’t be bothered with that” when asked for a copy of the absent teacher’s emergency work packet?
Since when was it part of the plan for another administrator to troop through my classroom, poking in cabinets and rifling through student work?
Since when was it part of the plan for an administrator to casually read the newspaper and sip coffee while parents drop off their children in the morning?
Since when was it part of the plan for the gym teacher to sit in a shady corner of the play yard listening to her iPod and thumbing through a magazine while forty children roll around unsupervised on scooters?
I’m fairly certain that these actions were never part of the plan. In fact, I’m also fairly certain that they are all in blatant disregard of the plan.
So in a move of sheer rebellion, I said “Screw you, plan!!” (words I don’t take lightly because I loves me some organizational tools and a nice, busy looking week filled with post it notes and multiple ink colors) and led my class in the most amazing and exciting round of oral story telling ever!
And guess what?? They loved it and were engaged in a way that reminded me why I got into teaching in the first place. I love making kids laugh and I love making them excited about school.
I feel like I’ve just burned my bra and rediscovered who I really am.
mimi- i just wanted to thank you for your blog. i have taken a moderate break from my own because i’m in the throws of national board hell, but you need to know that after typing essay after essay, day after day, i take blog breaks and laugh and gasp and gawk at all your inspiring experiences… so thanks!!
Good for you mimi! Sometimes leaving the “plan” gets some exciting results! I am glad you did!
DOWN WITH THE PLAN MAN~
Oh, Man! I remember when the Unit was what counted. You could teach the material any way you wanted as long as the kids passed the final. It was wonderful to study ecology through the eyes of the rainforest, culture through the eyes of ancient egypt, and mysteries, renaissance, and numerous other extravagances. It was awesome to watch the children be actually interested in learning. My class now is as bored as I am too. I am such a “stay within the lines” person, I have trouble getting out of the box.
The kids took a practice test today and then I was reviewing it with them. I was supposed to teach Math, but as I was going over the test I changed my plan. I just kept thinking BORING! So, i deviated from the plan (SHOCKER!). We spent the remainder of the afternoon finishing/checking their work.
You go, girl! I love days like that, when a teachable moment comes along and you milk it for all it’s worth! On a sidenote, though, you teach in a hellhole! I can’t believe all the crappy things that go on there! Get out get out get out! Find a place where you are appreciated and supported!
Glenda’s right Mimi, you should find another place to go after the school year. It sounds like the ship could go down at any moment!
17 (really 15) more years
One of the best lessons I ever did was my first year teaching. Of course, that was back in the old days, when you could teach things the way you want, and adminstrators weren’t your arch enemies. I was being observed and the kids got the topic WAY too fast (like in the first 15 minutes of the lesson)- I pulled the rest of the lesson out of my ass, the kids were great, engaged and motivated, and if I could teach like that every day, I wouldn’t be putting myself to sleep.
As one who is in common assessment hell right now I can only dream of deviation from the plan. You and your students are lucky.
I never, ever finished my curriculum by the end of the year, and even the district C&I Director would say, “We shouldn’t be doing it an inch thick and a mile wide.”
If we do lessons the way we’re taught to in the best quality professional development sessions, NObody can get through all the curriculum by the end of the year.
I do love your observations! 🙂
Hugh aka Repairman