Preparing for a new school year

It’s been a very busy summer, so I haven’t been posting much on this blog. But now that the beginning of our school year is approaching, and I’m starting to get ready for it, I found again the inspiration and need to share some thoughts with the blosphere.

As I explained in detail here, this year we are experimenting some courses without the support of a textbook. I’m both excited and scared at the thought. Excited because the absence of a textbook opens up so many possibilities, and I’m really looking forward to trying some completely unplugged lessons. Scared because I know I will eventually find myself super-busy, with only 30-40 minutes left in the weekly schedule to plan a 2-hour lesson. And doing that without a textbook can be difficult.

So here are some new school year resolutions I made, hoping that if I stick to them I will be able to get the most out of the absence of a textbook, as well as of my teaching itself:

  1. Plan time to plan: no matter how busy my schedule will get, I WANT to allow myself plenty of the time, at least once or twice a week, to carefully plan all my lessons. I am thinking about choosing two times in the week (e.g.: Monday morning from 8:30 to 11:30…) where I will not take up any lessons or other commitments. These times will only be dedicated to lesson planning and reflection.
  2. Feedback and reflection: allow 10-15 minutes after each lesson to reflect and think back about it, and possibly also take notes of what went well and what could have been changed. I already bought a brand new notebook for this purpose 😀 . I also plan to collect students’ occasional or “unintentional” feedback on a my notebook in order to work on it for future lessons.
  3. Breaks and free time: allow at least a 10-minute break for each 2-hour lesson. No more teaching 3-4 hours in a row. And I also plan to allow myself some free time during the week to do some exercise or work on my knitting, no matter what.

These don’t sound like much, but I’m sure that if I can keep to all of them for most of the time, my teaching and my personal life will benefit a lot from it.

Wish me good luck! 😉

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