And so the cycle repeats again. During the summer when the need to have something, anything for the kids to do the next day is off is when you make your wish list of strategies and activities to try this year. “This year will be different,” you tell yourself, only to fall back on tried-and-true if less than spectacular activities once the crush of the school year is upon you.
There are so many small details to keep on top of when opening the school year, and you need to stay on top of them all in order to set the tone for the rest of the year that planning quality lessons is almost an afterthought.
Planning over the summer, I’ve found, isn’t really too effective either—at least long-range planning as so much depends upon the makeup and chemistry of your classes that anything other than general sequencing will have to be so heavily revised once the flesh-and-blood kids are in the seats to make the whole exercise almost pointless.
Suddenly all of the neat activities and strategies that looked so good in theory run up against reality. The challenge is not to let reality prevail.