With exactly a month until students come back to school in my district its time to get back to the grind.
Wait, the grind never stopped.
As many teachers have not set foot back in their school all summer, I have been there weekly looking at the progression summer work done by contractors and janitors. Its amazing what they can get done with no students around. As I am planning my curriculum for the upcoming semester, I am faced with he choice of reusing my lessons from last year or modifying them to make them better. Its easy for teachers to just teach the same thing at the same time each year, but is this really the best practices?
NO!, it is not.
To be effective in the classroom, teachers must step back and reflect on their lessons and activities daily and weekly, and make notes about what could have been done better. The students change each year, and what worked for one group will not work for another. This year, I am blessed with the construction of a new classroom, but am doomed by being in an alternative classroom setting until Christmas. This will be a challenge keeping students motivated without the "Carrot" of shop work in front of them but they must be taught none the less. Like most Ag teachers, I don't like working in the classroom if I don't have to. To make these lessons more effective, I have begun utilizing student driven/led activities. This has made my job easier and led to the students learning more. If you still teach in the old teacher led, factory style instruction, I challenge you to choose one lesson and rewrite it so that the students lead the instructional process and you serve as the guide. You will be amazed at what they can accomplish.