Friday, December 2, 2011

Scheming, the Boring Kind

They don't tell you, before you sign up for teacher training, that the workload is both too high for a social life, and too boring to make you want to stay in college. Over the past few days, I've had to produce four detailed lesson plans and five schemes of work. This isn't the fun kind of scheming like EDGI. This is more like doing a whole lot of work that you then have to get even more specific about later, that doesn't really make much sense by itself.

Consider this a warning for those thinking of being teacher: the paperwork is really boring. Really, really boring. I mean, I think my lessons will actually be fairly enjoyable. Some of them, anyway. Others are the stuff I need to pretend is interesting to stop pupils falling sleep.

But I look at the schemes and I think to myself, I would not like to sit through a lesson like this. Because if all you do is look at the four lines about a lesson on a scheme, you don't get a good idea of what it will be like.

It's like planning a novel, only less creative. When I plan a novel, I get to think about all think fun things that will happen, all the meaningful things, all the in-between parts that have to carry some significance... when I think of schemes, I have to think of the content and how best to teach it so that pupils will remember, only I can't be very specific about it because of character limits.

What this boils down to is making something far too vague to really work with in a month's time. This means that when I do my lesson plans, I'll have to rethink every lesson all over again. That would be more difficult, but at least more fun. I would get to think of the different ways to show the same info so that the listeners and the observers both learned, and give tasks that would allow the active learners to still be included. And none of that is possible when doing so many schemes of work in one go, because with all the other work we're expected to do, we literally do not have the time to get all of this done.

This is the flaw with my college's Education department. They gave us a lot of work to do over a three week period, ignoring the fact that some modules required us to have work during this three weeks, too. I had to make a video for last Monday, and while it only took a couple of hours, it meant I wasn't able to work on my lesson for Tuesday. I have to do a project for Monday, which has been messed up by having to do nine assignments for the Education department. I will have gotten everything out of the way by Wednesday with the Education department... only to have a massive journal due in on Friday. Worth 50% of a module.

So, if I die and/or remove someone's limbs over the next week, you know why. It'll be boredom, stress or both. Best leave me to my shame corner in college and approach slowly with tea and chocolate if you really want to talk to me.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Just do the best that you can and let the sleeping dogs fall where they may (or something to that effect. Once again, I've single-handedly ruined an effective metaphor.)