Posts Tagged ‘schedule’
I cribbed the title from a worthwhile essay in a similar vein, so credit there where due.
It’s Picture Day, and you’re a teacher. Chances are, things aren’t going well. All those photographers, and Picture Day is half of an hour behind schedule. As tempting as it may be, don’t get peeved at the camera guy. He’s just doing his job, as best he can.
If his car broke on the way to your school, or his equipment at it, remember that he doesn’t like either any more than you do. To fix his car means that he might not be able to pay the rent this month, and to fix his equipment means 45 minutes of patient explanation to students, staff, faculty and your school’s highest hierarchy. If he had any control over the situation, there wouldn’t be a situation to worry about.
Once he gets there, it’s an even shot that all the plans he knows have been changed. He may or may not find out that Picture Day has been moved to another, smaller room, or that your Picture Day coordinator has some wild ideas she’d like to try out that he can’t at all implement. While his boss and yours play early morning phone tag, he may or may not discover that he has to clear a class set of chairs and tables before he can even start setting up.
Camera Guy makes no real decisions, though he is the face of the company. Camera Guy is merely in charge of the camera, and that is where his authority ends. If your Picture Day is running slower than expected, it more-often-than-not isn’t going to be the fault of Camera Guy.
Just know that if you must complain to his superiors about his efficiency or the clogged lines at his camera, have the courtesy to first inquire with him politely. He’ll be very receptive. For Camera Guy, politeness can be such a novelty.
Within hours of getting my morale busted, I set to writing a American history curriculum that could go a few good rounds with even that of those pesky TCI guys.
After grinding them on memorization of states, the timeline and the presidents, we get to the nitty-gritty that is the economy of the United States. I figure that because money makes the world go ’round, it deserves top billing. Wars are instigated, propped up and decided largely by the economy, as are politicians and most notable social reforms, so an understanding of the economy is crucial.
Semester one, therefore, ended up a little like this.
three weeks — memorization grinding
five weeks — economy
major test 1
two weeks — political movements
two weeks — media history
five weeks — wars
major test 2 (cumulative)
Semester two is a bit more fun, and not only because the winter assignment is to write a paper on an assassinated president. Sure, half the class will have Kennedy or Lincoln, but the other half — and, as I assign it, the half of the class who could do with a challenge — will have Garfield and McKinley.
This semester is more fun because I say it’s more fun. Or, maybe it’s because I have better materials for it so far.
The second semester ended up something like this:
one week — present assassin papers
one week — intro. to the Supreme Court
six weeks — slavery and civil rights
major test 3
two weeks — religion
four weeks — social reform
two weeks — immigrants, Indians and other minorities
major test 4 (cumulative)
three weeks — some sort of major presentation
Note that the second tests in a semester are cumulative. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Moral of the story? Whatever the motive, there is never anything wrong with preparing curricula in advance.