Monday, April 6, 2015

Why We Need to Be Prepared in Order to Be Flexible in the Classroom

Did you have a good Monday?  I had a good Monday.  We always want to have good days, but it is even better when a Monday is a good day because...well, it is Monday.

I am generally a very organized person, and I try to be very prepared.  When I am organized and prepared, I feel better.  I feel calm and confident, ready to tackle what may come my way.  When I am less prepared, I am stressed and more likely to frazzle.  (Is frazzle a word?)  As a full-time teacher and doctoral student, I do not need to add extra reasons to my life to be stressed.

This weekend on Saturday, I remembered at 3pm I needed to go to the library this weekend.  Of course, the library would be closed on Easter.  So that meant I needed to go on Saturday right then before they closed.  I made it to the libraries (plural) because you know the stacks of books I wanted existed across two locations to get everything I wanted.  (Note: For next year to be more prepared I am going to make lists of all the books I want for specific activities and then I can just request all those books be delivered to the library I want ahead of time. So next year I will be more prepared.)

Anyway, I got all the books I wanted.  I decided to take them all up to school on Saturday so I wouldn't have to deal with them Monday morning.  Then today, I got to work about 15 minutes earlier than I needed to. You sometimes forget what a difference 10-15 minutes can make.  I got a lot done this morning and was confidently ready to go. Now, I often try to have everything copied by Friday for the next week anyway.  However, just getting to work a few minutes early on a Monday still just allowed me to have a few minutes of quiet to set the right intention for the day.

The rest of the day continued in the same fashion.  I accomplished a lot.  My students accomplished a lot.  I was able to get several big assignments graded. I gave my students important feedback they needed.  We started a group project this week that the students were enjoying.  Often as teachers if we take the time to be feel confident...then our students feed off of that.  If we have a good day, they usually have a good day.  If we start out frazzled, then they are more likely to be less productive that day. We set the tone in our classroom.

Tonight at my Implementation and Evaluation of Curriculum class, we also were discussing a study that looked at differences between effective and less effective teachers for improving student performance.  One of the factors that made the biggest difference was the instructional planning of the teacher.  How well do you plan?  How prepared are you?  I often have said some of the best classroom moments I have experienced is when I was inspired by my students' ideas and questions, and we had an impromptu discussion or impromptu activity. However, I feel confident to be be inspired...when I am prepared...when I have planned well.

How prepared are you?  How confident did you feel today?  How well did you plan your day?  Does it make a difference in how you set the tone for your classroom?


  1. Hi April! Loved this post! This is definitely something I am working on! {Always}! It's been forever since I stopped by. Hope you are doing well!

  2. I absolutely agree. When you are prepared and know your plans, you know the end goal of where you want to take your students. When your students spark moments of inspiration to go in another direction, the quality of the lesson and unit skyrockets. If you aren't prepared, you can get derailed by moments of inspiration because you have a less clear direction. Love this post! -Chynell


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