Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lesson Learned: Never Be Unprepared

Today was frantic. I don't know if it's because I was 5 minutes late to my first staff meeting, or because I was in class all day yesterday and missed Monday's classes at high school. Or maybe it was because I didn't finish grading all 85 papers over the weekend and was left frantically marking in red ink Tuesday morning. Whatever the reason, today did not go smoothly for me. The classes I co-taught all went great; it was how I felt on the inside. My stomach was churning, I had a headache, no appetite, and I kept having the distinct feeling like I'd forgotten to put my pants on that morning. Lesson learned! Never leave things to the last minute in teaching. Because when you do, everyone notices. Everyone. You can't fake preparedness. There's hundreds of students counting on me! I'm going to have to pick up the pace over the weekends.

The other lesson I learned: always read through any worksheet (better yet, do it first!) you want to administer to your classes. I used a "Simpsons" worksheet to teach the Scientific Method before I noticed that a few answers had been mistakenly filled in. Then, I realized I wanted to add more questions, missing from the worksheet. Instead of correcting the mistakes on the worksheet, I was stuck with what I had since I'd already made copies. I had to instruct the students to add the questions, which became messy and confusing. Some tried to squeeze it illegibly into the margins, others wrote it on a separate sheet of paper and then lost it, and the rest of them simply "forgot" to do the additional work. Always check your worksheets before use!

On a side note, make sure you check over everything for mistakes before making copies. Otherwise, you just wasted 150 sheets of paper, ink, and probably broke the old, crotchety copier being slave driven in the copy room. I made this mistake today. I was copying worksheets for tomorrow. I had finished copying all 150 of them before I realized I had copied the answer key. Doh!

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