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Are you gearing up to teach a shiny new class next year? Maybe it’s a brand new program or course that’s in high demand. As a multiple prep teacher, especially if you are an elective teacher like a CTE teacher, you often find yourself adding more preps.
Sooner or later, you’re going to be faced with the challenge of teaching a new course, and this year it’s you. Fear not! Today, we are going to provide you with some tips to help you plan and prepare for that exciting new adventure. Without spending your entire summer on course planning.
Before we dive into this episode, I want to give you a couple of reminders. Firstly, you still need to have a summer, so avoid spending all your time planning every little detail of this course.
Secondly, it’s okay not to be the expert. You don’t need to spend your entire summer becoming an expert in the content.
Give yourself a break and show yourself some grace. Use this first year, or even the first and second year, to learn about the content and how to deliver it.
Tip 1: Tap into Existing Curriculum Resources
To simplify the process of planning a new course, your first tip is to tap into existing curriculum resources whenever possible.
Start by finding out from your state or district if there are any specific strands, standards, or objectives for this course. Check if they have any resources already available.
Look for someone else’s curriculum. Find another teacher who is teaching the same course or something similar. See if you can get materials from them.
You may need to buy a curriculum or explore online resources for ideas on how to get started.
Using an existing curriculum developed by someone else can provide a ready-made structure. You can adjust it to fit your teaching style during the school year.
If you can’t find existing resources from your state or other teachers, consider using textbooks or industry resources. Focus on filling in the gaps by identifying the key strands, standards, and core topics to teach.
Tip 2: Create a Course Map
Creating a course map for the year is another helpful strategy, and it’s something you can do during the summer or before the term begins.
The course map will guide you as you navigate through this new course. Start by determining the units you want to teach. At this point, focus on the unit level only and decide how much time you should spend on each unit.
Keep in mind that you are still experimenting, so plan some buffer time to allow for adjustments. You may need to make units longer or shorter while you’re teaching them.
Consider holidays and the schedules of your other classes as you develop the course map. If you need some help with creating this map, check out the Plan Out Your Course Blueprint.
Tip 3: Find Your Teaching Community
To simplify the planning process for your new course, it’s important to find your teaching community. Or join an online community of educators who teach the same or similar classes.
Platforms like Facebook offer many education-related groups. Within these groups, you can find teachers who share your subject or content area. Engage with these communities to gather ideas, ask questions, or simply observe discussions.
When using online communities, be intentional about searching for specific topics related to the units you’ll be teaching.
Rather than saving every good idea you come across, use the search function to find discussions that address your needs.
Attending workshops or taking online courses related to your subject can provide ideas for your new course.
As you approach the end of the summer, aim to have your first 10 days of the course planned. Most routines, processes, and procedures will likely be like those in your other classes.
Avoid planning too far in advance until you have a better understanding of your students.
By having your first 10 days planned, you’ll feel confident starting the new school year. Knowing that you can adjust and learn as you go.
Teaching a new course can be both exciting and challenging. By following these tips, you can simplify the planning and preparation process, allowing yourself time to learn and adapt.
Remember to tap into existing curriculum resources whenever possible. Create a course map to guide your teaching. And connect with a supportive teaching community to exchange ideas and seek guidance. Enjoy the journey of teaching your new course, and embrace the growth and learning it brings.
- Summer Planning: How to Create a Schedule That Maximizes Your Time Off
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