I have gotten permission from my graduate advisor (who oversees the observations in this blog) to rant more. This is an exciting prospect.
My new weekly goal: lesson plans. I suck at lesson plans. Today's whole blog is about the concept of the lesson plan in modern education, why we need it (we do), how difficult they are for me (strangely), and how my stomach has a slight ulcer from them/my insomnia has gotten worse because of them. The end goal for next week is to create a second blog to post my lesson plans for my class on just like I'm posting my observations for my teaching. I sometimes forget to get my observations up daily, but I always catch up in a couple of days and it helps me to keep organized. Plus, there are there for easy access. I think that using this tool for my lesson plans would help me IMMENSELY since I never seem to get them to the people they need to get to in any degree of quickness. That's usually because I'm crying over them and contemplating my inability to do them at all.
Ok - for the non-teachers: what is a lesson plan? A lesson plan is something like a recipe for a teacher to run his or her classroom. It should contain the background information, what you will need, the order that you do things in, the goals for the students, and the work (independent and guided) that you give the students. The idea is that should the teacher be kidnapped by aliens on the way to work or otherwise be delayed that a substitue with no knowledge of the subject can teach the lesson. Also, it helps the teacher stay on task.
So, I bet you're asking yourself... what's so hard about this? Well, have you ever tried to write something that contains a lot of information and specific minutae in a regimented way without ever having been taught the format? That's where I'm sitting. In my 6 week training program this summer, which I have dubbed the "Crash Course to Inner City Teaching," I attended a seminar for an hour on how to plan a thematic unit and to keep coherence from the big ideas in the thematic unit down to the daily lessons. They actually didn't cover how to write lessons at all.
I'm aware of the basic idea and I've had 3 different college professors give me examples of different lesson plans. I'm being prissy because I don't like these formats. They all concentrate on the *work* that the students are doing and not what they teachers are actually supposed to be teaching and how. I don't understand the different teaching strategies so telling me to have the kids go over 1-10 on the worksheet by themselves and then we'll go over it together doesn't fly. I don't use worksheets. I can't use my textbook because it doesn't align with the standards unless I want to break the law and deviate from the standards. The only resources I have are for the textbook.
This will lead into another long rant entited - I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M TEACHING AND I HAVE NO RESOURCES FOR IT. Also, to be shortly followed by - IF I BUY ANY RESOUCES OUT OF MY OWN POCKET THEN THEY'LL BE A WASTE OF MONEY BECAUSE I'M A BIOLOGY TEACHER AND NOT AN EARTH SCIENCE TEACHER.
Thank you and have a lovely weekend.