Sunday, September 11, 2005

minute by minute

I sat down to write my lesson plans for the week, and then I remembered that I didn't make a schedule yet. Ugh. So now I'm trying to work out a schedule. That is, by far, my least favorite beginning of the year activity. The archdiocese gives us a chart detailing how many minutes a week we're allotted for each subject. Then it's up to the individual teacher to break it down into a daily schedule. For grades 1 & 2, the minutes are as follows:

Minutes per week
Religion = 150
ILA* = 900
Math = 225
Science = 45
Social Studies = 45
Technology = 45
Music = 45
Art = 45
Phys. Ed. = 45

*ILA is Integrated Language Arts, and it includes reading, writing, listening, speaking, spelling, phonics and library. I also include centers here.

We also have to take into account our "specials" schedule (art, library, music, computers, phys ed). We share some of these teachers with other Catholic schools in the area, so it's pretty much impossible to have a set specials schedule. (I've taught in schools where, for example, first grade has a "special" class every day from 9:00 - 9:45, so the teacher has the same prep period every day. That's not the case in my school.) Here's the first grade specials schedule:

Monday - phys ed at 9 AM
Tuesday - nothing(!)
Wednesday - art at 12:45 PM
Thursday - music at 9:15 AM
Friday - computer at 10:30 AM, library at 1:30 PM

Frankly, the schedule sucks. If our (volunteer) gym teacher doesn't show on Mondays, I don't get a prep period at all until Wednesday afternoon. Grossly unfair. And unlike most non-Catholic schools, we're not compensated for a missed prep period.

I prefer to have certain things (like math, religion, recess) at the same time every day, but since I can't do that, I'm going to have to make the best of it. Like I do every year. Bleh.

In other news... my new catch phrase is "Zip it, lock it, put it in your pocket." Accompanied by appropriate hand motions (zip the lip, lock it, put the key in your pocket). Very effective thus far. :)

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