Today, I attended to a reunion for Secondary teachers in my hometown.
I saw the same faces of concern, disbelief and general overwhelm that I and my elementary teacher peers’ wore last year. Also, it’s the same thing over facebook and received emails from friends all over the country.
3 questions were marked in each face:
- How are we going to do this in general? (overwhelm)
- How are we going to plan? (concern)
- Are the students going to learn something without textbooks? (disbelief)
After one year, I am still concern, a bit overwhelm (it was a contagious feeling in the reunion) and expecting for textbooks.
Something I think it has been missing: it’s a diet approach to this new syllabus… WHAT?! you may ask, let me explain.
DISCLAIMER: I came out with this approach during our buffet lunch after the reunion. It’ something I made up.
As any person who has gone on the quest of personal improvement: losing kilos or pounds… there are some general tips:
- Going drastic is not always good. The miracles diets are in general drastic and leads to brief results… in the new syllabus probably it is not the best idea to throw 2006 out the window, but to combine both syllabus AT FIRST in order to get comfortable using the new one. I recommend one month to make the transition if your superiors let you.
- Research. When we hear about a miracle diet herb, we want to try it at once… but there is always a disclaimer: ASK YOUR DOCTOR FIRST. Since there is not a teaching doctor to consult all the time, we have to do the work: Go online for news and ideas (blogs are good!), ask your peers, go to every reunion your hear (commission or not), exchange lesson plans and emails, and please READ what someone sends you.
- Set small goals. Don’t do everything at once in one clean-cut. In diets, cutting carbs at once only end out with a growling stomach and awful cravings. You have to do it slowly and progressively. In teaching, you can start each week with something new from the syllabus or set lower bars at first and go up from there.
- Trust your instincts: every body is different. Some diets don’t work on everyone. So, don’t do exactly what this or that teacher did. You have prior teaching knowledge and experience: use the ideas that will work on you and your students. (The same as in diets)
- Don’t expect awesome results after the first week. (BE PATIENT) Good diets and teaching take time to take effect on your body and your students.
- Check your progress weekly. In diets, results are measured in kilograms and centimeters. In teaching, it’s a bit more difficult but writing your thoughts helps, also talking to your peers. Do autoevaluation or ask students for constructive opinions.
- Good and awesome results are always shared big and loud. When a diet is working, we pretty shout it to the whole world to hear. In teaching, it’s the same. If you manage to do something to be super-duper proud, share it. These are ideas to help other confused and overwhelm teachers as once you were… some we still are.
Extra: Hopefully, this blog will grow due to this…