Monday, June 21, 2010

From the Past: Preparations for the Beginning of School

Note:  The following was written August 17, 2008.   It chronicles my preparation for the beginning of that year's school term.  I like to compare my readiness from year to year.  This year -  of course, it is only June 21 - I feel I have more of a head start on the technical and organization matters.  I actually got some processing done at the end of the school year!  I plan to spend this summer reading and reflecting.  And decorating for the upcoming year's reading theme!

It’s come to that point:  School officially begins in nine days.  Am I ready? In some ways, yes, I am ready; in some ways, no way am I prepared.

I have probably never been more organized when it comes to setting a schedule and charting a course for the school year.  I have an outline and plans for the writers’ clubs already made, my evening hours are scheduled, and I have some lessons planned and collaborations set.  My teaching has never been more organized.

My Accelerated Reader display, always a work in progress, is mostly ready.  I need to find books and make bibliographies for the theme, but AR, on the surface, is ready for kids to dive in and earn points.  Oh, yeah, I do have to set up kids in individual classes, promote last year’s students, etc, but that will be done before the kids darken the door.

I have collaborative planning charts made and ready to be distributed.  The staff development schedule is already on the Brookhaven Technology Talk site and all I have to do to get ready for Faculty Senate is do the budget and copy materials.  My Blackberry is full of tasks that need to be completed, but the plan is there.

What has not been done is a lot of library processing.  Usually I catalog books, weed and do maintenance activities during the summer.  I did not do that this year, instead focusing on more curricular activities.  I have stacks of books that are not cataloged, maybe about 40 magazines on my desk ready to be entered into the system, and literally more than 200 books to be withdrawn and physically discarded. 

I have reference books stacked on the floor waiting to be shelved in their new home.  I have late returns and summer school books waiting to be shelved.  I am sure there are a hundred other little tasks that I need to complete that I haven’t even thought about which will give me minor anxiety attacks when I realize they have yet to be completed.  I’m not sure if I can get all this done by August 25, but I certainly will try.

Somehow I feel more sedate than I usually do when starting a new school year.  Maybe that comes with age, or “experience.”  Maybe I am really better prepared, because I have concentrated on the curricular as opposed to the technical.  Time will tell if this self-satisfaction will last!

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