Saturday, January 02, 2016

My Plans As An Educator in 2016? Seriously?

What are my plans as an educator in 2016?

Well, my first victory is to acknowledge to myself that I am, in fact, an educator. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I remember that but it doesn't really seem like that. Sometimes it seems like outside forces are acknowledging it only to try to counter that reality.

No, I know I am a Teacher, and that isn't going to change any time soon.

But plans? What's the expression about "a battle plan is only good until . . . " No, I do not see my students, any of them, as "the enemy", even if some are openly hostile to me or to learning in general. But many grand plans -- especially those coming from boring PD -- seem to crash and burn when they hit the classroom. Maybe the resources weren't there or in working order. Maybe the backup wasn't what it should've been. Maybe the response wasn't what was expected.

And for every plan, you need 30 (individual) contingencies and another few backups, in case of snafus.

(Not the way I thought I'd start the blog in the New Year, but then I didn't think I'd end the old year by throwing out my back, helping someone, so bear with me.)

I admire the people I follow online who can make grand plans. For a better part of the last couple of years, I assured them I would model some of their suggestions should I ever have a permanent classroom again. (I've been floating around the system for a couple of years.) Well, I finally got a classroom, and the challenges I face are substantial -- and unmatched by any of my current online peers. Should I look for new Twitter chats? I doubt the teachers facing what I do have time for them.

As it is, I've cut back on the one or two education-based chats that used to participate in weekly -- back when I didn't have papers to grade, parents to call, anecdotals to write, online systems to update. Email is a wonderful tool -- I wish the parents used it in connection with their child's educational welfare.

I plan One Day at a Time. Whenever I plan too far ahead, I have to alter those plans and most of the effort has been wasted.

I might have a goal, but I've seen so many plans crash and burn that I've been sticking to things that work. Try something new? Sure, I'll try to sneak things in, and gauge the reaction and effectiveness.

But first I have to get over the feeling that I'd prefer to "float around the system" again. I don't hate being in the classroom. But I'm close to saying I hate being in some classrooms.

Okay, end of rant. I'll try to be more positive tomorrow. Or maybe next week.

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