November 12, 2010


How often do you create new lessons and units?

A few years before I moved to Las Vegas, I started to get into a groove where I didn't create any new lessons--that I remember anyway. I used the same texts. I taught the same things. I don't necessarily think I was stagnant because it was during the time my district was embracing standards-based teaching and curriculum aligned in a big way. It was just before NCLB took over our classrooms.

After I moved in 2004 and started teaching middle school in Clark County where we have each quarter mapped out with districts tests approximately every quarter, you'd think I would have definitely teach the same thing over and over, but I haven't.

I try to follow the quarter benchmarks, but sometimes I kind of wiggle around them because I also teach in an IBMYP school. The constant conflict I have in teaching a program that has a different structure (and values) than the district where I teach is confusing and frustrating.
When I first started teaching in the program, I had no idea what I was doing and what an IB lesson even looked like. As I've learned more about the program, I've shaped my lessons differently. Oh! And sometimes I do get new novels and resources, so I don't have to use the same resources. While, I do have a few units I do every year, I even tweak the lessons within the unit to better match IBMYP and district benchmark needs.

Creating new units and lesson is exciting for me--except when I need to have them done ASAP, and then I long to drag out the old stuff. But even my old stuff isn't always tired. Lately, I've brought things out of retirement that have turned out to be pretty fresh. Kind of like the fashion of my youth that is creeping back. Plus, sometimes I tweak the same old stuff just a bit so that it's not so tired, but it's not certainly not new. Essentially, I don't create that many new units and lessons.

I'm not as passionate about teaching as I used to be. Oh, I still like my job--probably more than I did in the early years--but I am more into working smarter these days because I relish my personal time. I'm interested in being able to leave work at work.

I'm not judging, dear readers, how much do you reuse and how much is new each year?

1 comment:

The Vegas Art Guy said...

I've reused 75% of the lessons from last year. I have changed them a bit so they work better. I'm also not teaching the same thing to all classes either. My honors kids are on a different set of stories than my regular kids. That way I don't go nuts.