Summer school is an intense period of 18 school days where you attempt at teaching an entire course. Unlike the regular school year, you do not receive any prep time and essentially teach from 8:30-3:15 straight with only a small break for lunch (like 35 minutes….). Last year I spent every evening working til about 11:30pm, working on powerpoints and creating lessons. This year was significantly easier because I was repeating the same program as last year.
Now I do ‘change things up’ and switch lessons around, update things (for example, Jack Layton was in my slides) and create new assignments. But the big parts of the course are done. One thing that I did that helped keep me organized is buying an ‘office in a box’. This held file folders that were colour coordinated to represent lessons/days and assignments. Everything was spread out through the 18 days and it made photocopying/prepping quite a bit easier. It also helped me organize my paperwork at the end of the summer as everything was there (we have to assemble a package that is kept on-file).
On Friday, I cleaned up the files a bit and now they are ready to be put in a file folder-holder on my teaching-resources shelf (yes, I do have one of those). So the next time I teach this course, it is ready to go again.
Because I was a bit more organized this year, I didn’t work my butt off. I even took a couple of ‘nights off’. I also did not take an Ottawa University course this summer, so that has much to do with it as well. I felt better, more organized and I think I taught a bit better.
See….being organized pays off sometimes