Saturday, October 13, 2007

Loving My Schedule

I know I sort of mentioned this already, but I just had to elaborate.

Being a pull-out ESL teacher I have the privilege of being able to write my own schedule. The first year my schedule was a mess. Trying to coordinate nine grade levels (that’s Kindergarten through eighth grade) around two lunches, preps, math lessons, etc. was a nightmare. I finally worked something out but I was always forgetting my schedule and picking up the wrong kids, not to mention eating lunch and taking preps at a different time every day. The second year was much better. I only had grades K-5 so just that helped a lot in the organization. Still, not every day was the same so occasionally I was off, and in hindsight, having a prep every day during first period wasn’t the most productive.

This year I have finally figured it out. It sort of happened accidentally because it wasn’t as if I set out to make myself the perfect schedule, it just sort of worked out that way. The main change this year was that I have too many kids that need eight periods a week to actually give it to them (that’s another story in itself) so, in order to make the schedule somewhat fair I decided to give each group five periods a day. This means that I can see each group for one period a day. Every day. The same schedule. And after planning around lunches and preps my schedule is:

First Period: Kindergarten

Second Period: Push-In 4th/5th

Third Period: 4th/5th

Fourth Period: 2nd/3rd

Fifth Period: Lunch

Sixth Period: Prep

Seventh Period: 1st

The obvious bonus is having lunch and prep together everyday. That’s one hour and forty glorious minutes to eat and get soooo much planning and work done. But it gets better. Kindergarten is my favorite (and probably easiest) class, so it’s great to have them first thing in the morning. I actually look forward to picking them up from the cafeteria. Next, my push in class is pretty easy as the teacher already has the students working, I just come in a take my groups aside to work with them. I then go back to my room and the 4th/5th graders meet me at my room (soo great to not have to go “pick them up”). After most of the morning has breezed by it’s the final push for 2nd/3rd grade until lunch. They are by far my most difficult group but I know that soon it will be time for a much needed break so I make it through. And then suddenly it’s 12:15 and the day feels practically over. I just have 50 minutes left of teaching (after my hour and forty minute break) and they are my first graders–my second favorite group. And the day is done! (Well, apart from the 37.5 minutes).

Seriously my days FLY by this year. And, when my prep finally comes, I feel like I have really earned it! I have stuff to take care of from the previous classes and planning for the rest of the week to get done. I am really in love with my schedule. And it only took three years to figure out! I’ll have to remember this for next year.

1 comment:

X said...

Yay! Good for you. I'm glad to hear about things that maek your job easier.