Oh, teacher friends!  It’s Sunday and we enjoyed a perfect weather weekend here in central Texas.  It was Heavenly!!  We even got the sprinklers out in the backyard!!  I know.  Perfect.  With all the fun we’re having, there was also some work to be done.  I can’t wait to share with you everything I’ve been working on the past several months…actually, the past 4 years.  HA!  Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing my struggles, mistakes, ideas and tips on better lesson planning.  I know we all struggle with it and I truly think we can work smarter not harder.  I hope you’ll hang with me.

So, have you ever wondered where to start when creating lesson plans for your kiddos?  How to get through planning without it taking more time then it should…like days and days?

I remember my first year as a teacher…the goal, #1, is to just make it (ha!!).  I would come home to my one-bedroom apartment and take a nap.  Yes, a nap at 5:00.  Wake up at 7:00 then work for another 2-3 hours or so after dinner.  CRAZY!

Then the 2nd year of teaching, I started to see a clearer picture of the expectations for myself and the kids.  AND I would come home and still nap, but I’d get some exercise in…a little.  Did any of you do that your first few years?  If you are a new teacher, hang on!  You are in for the ride of your life!  I think you’ll love it.  I LOVED IT!

Once I got a {somewhat} grip of my expectations, I then had to figure out how to implement everything.  Fortunately for me, I worked for a great district and had some great mentor teachers.

However, I still had so much to figure out and of course, being life-long learners that we are, things are always changing.

I struggled with 4 Main Aspects of lesson planning my first five years of teaching:

1.  I struggled with the amount of lessons for some concepts and the lack of lessons for others.

Which activity is best?  Should I reinvent the wheel?  This teacher has been doing X for 20 years, it MUST be good.

2. I struggled with assessments.

When should I assess?  When should I reteach?  How long should the tests be?

3. I struggled with implementing my state’s objectives.  

I live in Texas and when I started teaching (2001) (don’t laugh all you youngins out there), we already had objectives we HAD to teach from.  We had objectives the kids must master in order to move to the next grade level. We had to note these in our lesson plans too.  And we needed to know them frontwards and backwards.

4. And I struggled with finding the time to plan. 

Planning could take hours and hours, days and days to plan.  I just love to plan!

During my fourth/fifth year of teaching, things started to click.  While, I still struggled sometimes.  Things aren’t always rainbows and butterflies, things were pretty darn effective.

In my next post, I’m sharing the mistakes I made those first few years.  SHHHHH!!!!  Don’t tell anyone.

Here I am with one of my pre-teaching classes —this is when I knew 2nd grade was where I would start my teaching career.

a modern teacher



xoxo, April