Monday, May 06, 2013

Counting the Days

After Spring Break, I took on a new class of Sophomores, teaching them World History.  The good news is that World History is a rather broad topic and, in theory at least, I could teach whatever I damn well pleased.  In practice, I wanted to provide the students with some practical material that would serve them well in U.S. History next year, provide some non-western history, and get them some practice in analytical writing.  That was a bit of a tall order in terms of reading and prep work, but I like a challenge.

Or so I told myself.

A new prep is always enjoyable for me.  Once I get a plan for the year, I typically prep to be 4-6 weeks ahead of the class, with plenty of space for adjustment and last-minute obligations.  A new prep taken on in the middle of the school year, without the summer months to contemplate and plan, is considerably less enjoyable.  It has instead been a persistent unsettled feeling.  

Since I took over this class with practically no lead time, I have been as much as a week ahead and as little as a day ahead.  The last few weeks, filled with obligations both expected and unexpected, have been stressful.  T has batted clean-up many a weekend and that has kept my head above water.  The instructional school year has only four more weeks to go, and that's promising.  Even more promising is the fact that Seniors end classes on May 14, freeing up some prep time during the school day.

Of course, that's only time in theory.  Unexpected obligations seem to arise around here every time I turn around (just this morning, three otherwise free periods filled up on my calendar for next week).  And so I count the days and remind myself that summer and endless glasses of iced tea on the back deck are just around the corner.

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