This project started with grand plans. Bringing technology into the 1300s. Sounds great.
Romeo and Juliet is one of my favorite texts to teach, and if I am being honest, it’s one that I can do pretty off the cuff. I use a lot from the Folger Shakespeare Company. It’s tried and true, and the kids love it. This became a welcome respite during a year where my courses were changed (haven’t taught grade 9 in a few years, and was given a brand new schedule this year) as was our curricular focus as now no teachers are in isolation and we have shifted towards a more collaborative model. Collaboration is good. I like collaboration. Let’s learn and grow and develop and work with one another. Great. I am humble enough to realize that I am fallible, and that there are many ways in which I can improve teaching as a craft. But man, this year has felt busy.
I even started early. Shoot, this unit began in January. This blog post should have been written ages ago. But honesty is the best policy, and the greatest thing I have developed over these last few months is a massive abdomen with a small child residing inside, who hopefully will not make an appearance until after I complete this task. My goal was to have this done before maternity leave began, which as it is, only lasts a few weeks as a result of the summer. So here I sit, in my serviced Bangkok apartment (had to leave Yangon for this – the baby, not the project) with a sleeping toddler and a massive fear that I’ve painted myself into a corner. Ironically, I have better internet at home. But man, this year I kept feeling like I had plenty of time.
So what did I do? I postponed my first blog post until right before it’s due. It’s funny. How many times have you sat in a PD/training/conference, etc. just to observe how teachers, who, for all intents and purposes are professional speakers, are also the worst listeners?
I highlight this because I have not followed the same advice I repeat over and over again to my students:
But man, this year (2017) I’ve felt tired. 7:30 is a reasonable bedtime for an adult, right? Right?
So what was my plan? To make stuff interesting. To breathe new life into a unit that needed refreshing. To keep the kids engaged, and the lessons interactive, and to have a new technological spin on the things that were already successful. I took heaps of notes somewhere. But then I returned to work on a Monday to discover that maintenance had moved classrooms the weekend grades were due without a formal heads up. And things just got lost… it is what it is. At least I was ahead of the game on my marks. Many people lost those, and that was something. My new classroom, thankfully, is lovely. But for this project? I had a plan. I kept a plan. And I reflected with a good ‘ol pen and paper. That was apparently a bad plan. It’s almost like I didn’t realize this was a tech course, and I should have kept it digital. Oops.
Well, there’s no time like the present. Best get going.