Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 31 2011

Hermione as a Muggle… teacher

Somehow, it’s Sunday night again and I’m still up at midnight planning. Again.

I have no idea what to do with seventh period tomorrow. And by “seventh period,” I don’t mean a particular group of kids–I mean that chunk of time. Ever since I started teaching the AP Calc kids, I have four preps and two seventh periods–one full of my wonderful, abandoned precalculus students, and one with my wonderful adopted AP calculus students.

Planning two lessons happening simultaneously is a bit ridiculous. I feel like I have Hermione’s class schedule but I have to do it without the luxury of her Time Turner.

Instead of a clear stream of bullet-points, my thoughts spiral around in circles that go nowhere: “… fifth period precal is learning slant asymptotes and holes tomorrow, so maybe I could leave the notes with the sub for seventh period precal and have  them do the same homework–but wait, no, because they never learned vertical or horizontal asymptotes last week because I was next door teaching calculus. So I guess I can leave instructions with the sub to teach vertical asymptotes, since she said she’d learn it over the weekend. Or maybe I could put the sub in with Calc and give them another review assignment. Or I could get calc started on something and  jet over to precal to give them the notes and then go back to the calc kids? Or maybe I could put calc and precal in the same room? What’s 19 + 17? Calc is in the middle of evaluating limits, but I bet they don’t know how to find asymptotes without seeing a graph… plus they haven’t done limits with infinity apparently, so maybe this would be a good intro…”

TWO DAY WEEKENDS ARE NOT LONG ENOUGH. I’m heading from another weekend spent working into another whirlwind week with an incomplete plan and no solid footing, which does not feel like the steady chugging-toward-the-goal feeling that I wanted to be experiencing by now. I don’t even have a goal right now for half of my kids (see my last post).

… and somehow I’m supposed to find the time to do something that ISN’T work? Ha.

4 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, this post captures how I feel these days so perfectly. Except, four preps?? I don’t know how you do it.

  2. els

    it’s still better second year, right? because I’m clinging to that!

    • Wess

      YESS!!
      … see my next post (but scroll down to the very end, heh)

  3. Oh my goodness. This is out of control!

    Wess-we need to figure out a solution to this. First, in the calculus class I work on we primarily teach precalculus. Almost all of the issues are from middle school math on proportions and rates and on precalculus ideas like covaraiation of functions.
    You don’t have a time travel device-we need a way to make these classes mesh.

    The sub is teaching herself vertical asymptotes over the weekend? So much for plans for teaching these meaningfully-we are in straight up survival mode!

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High School
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Math

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