The 12 Stages of Going Back to Work for Teachers

Yesterday was my first day back to preplanning for the 2015-16 school year (oh my goodness, how time flies by!)  I was absolutely thrilled about the idea of going back to work because I love my job, I really enjoy the people that I work with, and I am the type of person who is innately motivated by completing tasks.  It’s strange, I know.  Most of my teacher friends were more like:

But despite my enthusiasm, I am no stranger to the 12 Stages of Going Back to Work for Teachers.

1. Denial

“What day is tomorrow again?  The day I go back to work???  Naw, can’t be.  I just started my summer vacation.”

2. Protest

“I refuse to go to bed at a decent time.  It’s my LAST DAY OF VACATION!  I’ll worry about tomorrow TOMORROW!”

3. Apathy

“It’s cool.  I mean, whether I’m in jeans and a t-shirt at my house or in my classroom, who cares? It’s all the same blah-blah as last year.  Been there done that.”

4. Anxiety

::Alarm Goes Off::  “OH MY GOD!!!  IT’S TOO EARLY!!  I HAVE TO PACK ALL MY BOOKS AND POSTERS AND MARKERS AND COFFEE CUPS AND NOTEBOOKS AND REMEMBER TO BRING COFFEE BECAUSE THE SCHOOL’S IS WRETCHED AND MY PANTS DON’T FIT ANYMORE AND WE HAVE TO SIT IN THOSE AWFUL CHAIRS ALL DAY AND THERE’S NO AIR CONDITIONING IN THE CAFETERIA AND I DON’T REMEMBER WHERE MY PARKING PASS IS AND THERE’S A STAIN ON THE SHIRT I WAS GOING TO WEAR AND….!!!!!!!”

5.  Elation

Reuniting with all your friends who you haven’t seen since June is so exciting!  You have so much to catch up on!  And there’s usually breakfast with lots of sugary goodies on the first day back.

6. Optimism

After looking around the room at the new faces and starting to hear the same old procedures from your years gone by, you realize that you’re going to be just fine.  Like riding a bike.

7.  Overwhelmed

The laundry list of meetings, agendas, task forces, subcommittees, classroom setup, orientation night prepping, creating syllabi and the first week’s lesson plans, etc. Oh, and it’s all due by Friday!

8. Sloth

Sitting in too many back-to-back meetings drains the light out of you, so tackling that list that gave you a heart attack doesn’t seem quite so daunting.  You’ll get to it; it will all get done.

9. Nesting

Finally, you’re in your room and the posters begin to find their homes on the walls, you’ve decided on the final layout for the desks for the first few weeks/months/all year, and you’re in the Room Preparation Zone!

10. Mania

OH SNAP!  ORIENTATION IS TOMORROW!

11. Peace

Everything is finally in its place, just like you knew it would be all along.

12. Eagerness

Now that you’ve found your back-to-work routine, your classroom is prepped, supplies and copies are ready, it’s time for the kiddos to arrive.

Teacher New Year’s Resolutions 2015

The Pensive Sloth blog offered up the Top 10 Teacher New Year’s Resolutions and I couldn’t resist sharing them with you.  Some are worth working on and others are just completely out of the question; I am a human after all!

Three resolutions I’m likely to attempt:

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I have to compliment myself on being fairly punctual with my turnaround time with grading.  What I need to work on is giving more specific feedback on assignments, as opposed to “Good Job!” and “Awkward.”teacher-resolutions-4-lesson-plans

My lesson plans are always in on time, sometimes they are less than specific.  I want to work on creating a solid unit plan as opposed to getting by, week-to-week, by the skin of my teeth.

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I am working on implementing more activities that are student-led as opposed to teacher-led.  This is tough for me, but we are all works in progress.  Baby steps are better than heels dug in.

Three resolutions that just ain’t gonna happen!

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Let me clarify this one: I am not saying that I don’t find value in PD sessions, but I want to focus on the word “demeaning.”  More often than not, I find wisdom and insight from each PD sessions that we have, but there are also those presenters who come in with some flashy “new gimmick” that insult the intelligence of the teaching staff they are working with.  Just putting a new name on an old strategy doesn’t make it worth my time.
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I think all teachers have a love/hate relationship with the copy machine.  We understand one another and accept the relationship.  When it’s bad, it’s horrible; when it’s good, it’s fabulous!
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‘Nuff said.

Reflective Teaching Challenge Day Twenty Six: Teaching Resources

TWENTY SIX

What are your three favorite go-to sites for help/tips/resources in your teaching?

1.  BetterLesson

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My mind is literally boggled when I begin to attempt to fathom how useful and convenient this website is.  I first found it when I was searching for resources for introducing The Canterbury Tales and its themes.  A search result appeared and I innocently began to search through the content of the website, completely unaware of the treasure trove that I had uncovered.  BetterLesson.com is filled with lesson plans and resource materials that are searchable by content area, grade level, and Common Core standard.  The Common Core-aligned lessons are prepared by Master Teachers who have included their procedures and rationale for each lesson.  The best part is, it’s free.

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2.  Pinterest

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Words do not begin to express the amount of hours that I spend searching and pinning on Pinterest.  I am far from the first or last person to admit to a slight PinAddiction.  If you’d like to see what has caught my eye, check out my Pinterest page here.

Just a sampling:

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3.  EasyTestMaker

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EasyTestMaker has been my go-to resource for creating all of my tests and quizzes for the past four years.  I enjoy the simplicity of the interface, but also the plethora of options as far as question formatting and assessment version creation.  This website has a Free and Pro version.  I opted for the nominal fee to upgrade to be able to make multiple versions of tests.

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BONUS!

4.  Slide Share

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SlideShare allows for its users to upload and download PowerPoint presentations on thousands of topics.  I have found myself lacking in information or proper formatting for certain presentation topics, and SlideShare provides multiple options to either use directly or pull inspiration from.  Again, my favorite word appears: FREE

5.  Web English Teacher20120731-xcdg2qcpxjyfisfdqencecndkb

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I have found myself returning to Web English Teacher for almost all of my unit plan developing needs.  When I am searching for background information for either author or historical context, this web resources has come in handy.  Additionally, it provides many resource links and assignments/projects.  It’s FREE status makes this another invaluable resources for English teachers.