Wednesday, November 9, 2011


As time goes on, we learn, change and adapt, based on our experiences. Through trial and error, we learn what works and what doesn't. Sometimes even what works changes along with us.

One thing I was looking forward to this year was not needing to write nearly as many lesson plans for Humanities class. Last year, I built the class from the ground up, using a strong framework that I'd inherited from another teacher. I put a lot of hard work into the class, and felt good about the results.

Over the summer, I realized that I had lots of room for improvement, and so I resolved to make significant changes to my curriculum and my teaching. It didn't mean going back to square one, but it did mean a lot of hard work--work that is very much still in progress as the school year is still in progress.

Yet, I still have some lessons planned from last year--lessons that, at a glance, looked reusable. I took one of these lessons today and dusted it off--a short lecture on Salutary Neglect. As I delivered the lecture, I discovered "this isn't nearly as good of lesson as I remembered it being!"

I still like the illustrations that I used. I was articulate in my delivery. The problem? I just don't like lecturing anymore (unless I get to tell a story), and my students aren't used to it when I do lecture. Rather than feeling like another good tool in a diverse arsenal, it just felt out of place and ill-fitting. Strange, as it had felt like a fairly natural fit last year. I hadn't realized that my style had changed that much. Makes me wonder where I'll be next year, and what notes/lesson plans I might discard in favor of new ones....

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