Wednesday, April 05, 2006
countdown to break
It happens to everyone. You work your ass off planning a unit. You smile. You introduce it with enthusiasm. You think you're the shit for being so smart to think up such an ingenious unit. And then it flops, sinks, bombs.
The kids that are supposed to be engaged are throwing pencils at each other, bickering, proclaiming you the devil for subjecting them to such a horrific learning experience.
So you adjust, make corrections, try to reclaim just a tad of enthusiasm for the whole thing. But the kids aren't having it. Too hard, too long, too many drafts. Oh, the incessant whining.
So you stop pleading and start threatening.
Detention everyday until morale improves!
Failing final quarter marks for those bold enough to defy your teacher's wishes!
Parent conferences for the lot of you that are even thinking of sucking in your teeth with that obnoxious "pffft" when I tell you to get back on task!
And then you get in your car. And it hits you. You're being a tool.
So you go home and scale down the unit to something more manageable. Something that won't spark a massive rebellion. Something that doesn't require three rubrics. Yeah, you're losing a lot, but at least you're not losing everything.
And you make a back-up copy of the unit. Because you know inside that with enough tinkering and alteration, there is a good unit in there somewhere.
Just not now.