When planning, there are always systems, experts, fads, school and system priorities, expectations for paperwork… Enough to make us go under I say. Recently I have reflected on how I have not burnt out or stayed under (permanently). I am not saying I have not had crises, I have had many of those, but how is it that I keep plugging along? I think the way to effectively plan is:
- Know what you want to teach
- Know how to teach it
- Know how you will assess it
In fact now, I now put point 3 before point 2. After sorting out what will be taught, when, over my eight year program, I then decide how and when assessment will work for me. When you have the students for such a short time each week, this step is essential or you will go insane. It may seem obvious to most of you, but for so long I have tried to do everything I thought SHOULD be done, rather than what COULD be done. (A good friend once told me “Don’t should on yourself”.) If your planned assessment looks like it will take too long and overwhelm other great learning experiences; try to cut it down while still being able to give an accurate picture of each child’s achievement. Better still, make the great learning experience into the assessment item.