I Have To Break This Pattern!

Lesson planning short term and long term should be the top priority when getting ready for a new school year. If a few things need to be finished up in your classroom at the start of the year that’s not as important … having powerful lessons and activities and meeting with other teachers about the year that should come first!!!

So why is it I cannot shake having my room all arranged before I can get serious about planning?!!! I know I’m not the only one who suffers from this because when I mentioned it yesterday to a few colleagues at school I received a rousing AMEN!!

The kind of spooky part is that at about three o’clock Friday (school starts Monday) when I had finished a classroom inventory our principal assigned us and looked around and noticed the room was pretty much ready … all I could focus on was planning. My brain started connecting with the curriculum for the year and I was furiously making notes and looking for materials and thinking about a possible field trip. UGGGH!

The most infuriating part is that now the weekend is here and I really crave more time to think it all through. My very organized wife is going through this to a lesser extent, but she understands completely. How about you? Does this happen to you?

I was starting to hate Clarence Fischer this morning after seeing this post of his set-up room and school doesn’t start for a week for him. But who could hate Clarence? : ) I’ll have to learn to “channel” him next year I guess.

Learning is messy!

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7 Responses to I Have To Break This Pattern!

  1. My brain is completely like yours. I absolutely can do nothing else until I have my space done. it sometimes feels like “playing teacher,” doing all the set up and bulletin boards and paper work with no kids in sight for days. But now that I have that done, I can take some time off this weekend and take my time with my planning (see newest blog post on Remote Access). I am one of those people who simply works best if I keep my life organized and together. When I get in a rush, things begin falling apart for me. Your an “old” pro Brian, amazing things will come for you I know it.

  2. Mark Ahlness says:

    I’m with you on this Brian. I can’t do a thing until it’s set. And I feel guilty for leaving the lesson planning for the very end also. But really, the setup and layout of a classroom is so critical to success. Every single angle of every desk/chair, the imagined flow of traffic, the look of it all – all these things matter so much more to a successful school year than the lesson plan here or there. Have a great year!

  3. Tracey says:

    I agree…I suffer from the same thing….luck would have it, I work at a year round school and I have the first three weeks off in the summer and then three weeks before kids show up to organize, clean and then eventually plan (no I am not paid for this time)…but it’s nice not to have to rush and to have a lot of planning time. Never see that during the year through. Best of luck

  4. Nancy Bosch says:

    I think the comments express part of the problem—the nice and tidy, all pencils sharpened, organized desk etc but I think it is something else. I think it is subliminal avoidance of the “hard” stuff–the thinking and planning. “Staging” (a new term from HGTV) the classroom is easy, it’s creative and fairly stressless. The hard part come when we start working with curriculum, kids, families etc.

    I once heard an old vaudeville joke: Harold comes upon his friend George who is obviously looking for a something under a streetlight. Harold says to George “What are you looking for?” and George says ” I lost a quarter down the block.” Harold says “Then why are you looking here?” and the friend says “The lights better.”

    I am easily distracted “under the streetlight” when I should be “down the block”.

  5. Pingback: Fly on the Wall | Re-Siever

  6. John Howell says:

    I would agree with Nancy that perhaps the organizing of the room in the beginning of the year is “subliminal avoidance” but it sure is a nice way to ease back into classroom.

    Unfortunately, I too cannot sit down and plan until the room has been strategically laid out and ready. I find myself sitting in different corners of the room to try and imagine how certain areas will be used. I try to make things as symmetrical as possible, and I don’t have a problem arranging and rearranging until it “feels” right. Silly I know but we do spend a huge chunk of our day/night there we might as well be comfortable. Not to mention the comfort of the students.

    Have a fantabulous year!

  7. Eric says:

    Consider me a bit envious of schoolteachers who can decorate an entire classroom for their students.

    One of my disappointments, amidst many pleasures, in teaching at a university is that the blank, sterile walls of shared classrooms. There could, at least, be a large map of the world and the United States. Some inspiring nature photographs, celebrating California or even more local Los Angeles, would be great too. Perhaps, as in your story of the stolen laptops, this is a safety issue – but I really believe it is a lack of imagination.

    As for back to classroom rituals, I simply review my materials – add new articles and forms – and try to imagine the students perspective. This year I’m adding several “YouTube” homework assignments too. Let’s make this year as satisfying as any so far!

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