Saturday, August 3, 2013

My "Getting Ready" List

Now is the time of year when my brain starts to flutter.  I think all teacher's brains start to flutter in August.  I told my husband the other day that August is like one big Sunday for me, and he smiled.  Sunday has never been my favorite day.  So much to little time...will I get it all done...will my alarm clock work?

After I thought about it some more, though, I decided that it is really a matter of perspective.  I can either look at August as the last gasp, the last bit of freedom for a long while, the last few weeks of being a full time mama (this one is probably the hardest for me...I LOVE my time with my boys) or I can look at it as a gift.  We still have three full weeks of break left ( my head I'm still lamenting that it's oooonly threeeee!) and know what??  In January, three weeks of break would seem like a gift. So there, brain. Please, please, please stay with that thought!

I need to also remember that I love my job, and I love my colleagues.  The beginning of the school year is a gift of new beginnings and a welcomed time to reconnect with colleagues I haven't seen over the summer (I am getting good, however, at playdates with fellow teacher-mamas!) This past school year was the first one ever (in 14 years) where I really, truly heart-missed the ladies I work with.  I mean I've missed colleagues before, but not like this summer. This past year, there was a trio of us who did the main planning for 7th grade English and then my special education co-teacher who I work closely with as well.  One of the trio moved back to Florida, and it was like I had a grade-school friend moving away.  Really.  I'll write a different day about collegial work, though, and about how awesome it is to work on a solid team when you haven't had people to plan with before.  So I also need to remember that I'll have my school support system back, too.

Anyway, when I was out at school the other day, I came across a list that I made several years back re: what I need to do before workshop week.  It looks like this:

At this point I am able to delete a few things, like "ask for wall to be closed" since I'm no longer in Room 250 where we had a collapsible wall between 250 and 251, or "agenda for department meeting" and "make sure tech is set up for department meeting" since I haven't been a department chair in two years, but I'll definitely be adding a few things, too.

I thought I'd write out my list here so I can internalize it and maybe try to get some of these things done before they should be.  It would also be interesting to see what you, lovely blog readers, have on your "super-to-do lists" pre-work!

My giant list of "to do:" 
  • Prepare room if possible
  • Desk/chair numbers
  • Clean up and prepare Moodle page
  • Class lists and #s
  • MCA score files
  • Q Comp goals & meet with peer leader
  • Emergency lesson plan
  • When is hall duty
  • Essential learning poster (purpose poster)
  • Find dates of MAP and MCA testing
  • Update parent homework
  • Update self and class ppt if I am going to use them
  • Print homeroom roster
  • Print schedule template for homeroom kids
  • Print class rosters
  • Make seating chart
  • Rosters and seating for Robin and for subs
  • Copy room sign-outs
  • Copy book check-out
  • Copy mid-day passes for all months
  • Get extra pencils ready
  • Get book shelves and displays ready
  • Copy out-of-class passes and make sure lanyards are hung up
  • Any ELA prof. dev. dates to get subs for?
  • Any co-taught prof. dev. dates to get subs for?
  • Scholastic online ordering: get ready online
  • Scholastic online ordering: make sure to locate catalogs & make parent letter
  •  Check on relicensure and how I'm doing on CEUs (good for a while, though!)
  • Added: when will Anti-bullying committee meet?
  • Added: make packet for 7th grade teachers/students for OLWEUS meetings
  • Added: prepare for skit for a-b committee time during workshop week
  • Added: get the 17 Chrome Books organized, etc.
The list doesn't include what we need to do (7th grade English teachers) to get ready for the first few days...plans, any supplies, copies, etc. but we have that on a shared doc on Collab, which is our district's Google Docs.

Internalizing......start.  Actually I'm feeling a little overwhelmed after typing that out, but at least I'm overwhelmed at the beginning of August with this list instead of realizing I had the list in October and scrambling to do these things randomly the the last week in August during workshop week. :)

Any tips or things that you get ready in the calm before the storm??

Happy teaching!


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