The Current Situation
I would like to be writing a lot more than I am, but at the moment that’s an impossibility. My schedule has me working grades one through six at five elementary schools, each with their own needs and requests, Monday through Friday. Every day I teach at least four classes, though five is the norm and six isn’t uncommon. There are only six periods in any school day. Needless to say, I’m somewhat busy. This is about double the normal load for an ALT, but I don’t want that to seem like I’m complaining. This is wholly manageable, and elementary schools are fairly low pressure. It just takes time.
This week about an hour or so of my evenings are taken up with lesson planning. I would like to recycle the same lessons from each grade from school to school, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes the schools don’t want the same lessons, or the students aren’t at the same level. For example, one of my elementary schools has three fifth grade classes of twenty five students. Another one of my elementary schools has only one fifth grade class with only three students. I can’t use the same games and lesson plans as the classrooms dynamics are completely different. This first week is crucial in assessing the needs of each classroom as I meet the students for the first time. Once I have a better grasp of that, I can plan ahead for the rest of the year.
This Saturday is an open house for all of my elementary schools, though I’ll only be attending one (I can only imagine trying to attend all of them without my head exploding.) As a result I have Monday off, and I plan on spending most of it making lesson plans for all grades at all schools for the next three months. In some cases I’ll be able to recycle lessons, in others I will have to make new ones. But if I do it all at once I should be able to save myself a lot of time and be more prepared for the coming weeks.