The Sunday scaries are real, especially for secondary teachers managing multiple preps and still need to lesson prep. Ever found yourself in the second prep or second-period scaries, spending countless hours figuring out what to teach next? We’ve all been there. Today, let’s explore strategies to turn this planning nightmare into an enjoyable teaching experience.

The Multiple Prep Struggle

As a CTE teacher, various challenges come your way. Maybe you feel more confident in one class than another or waste planning periods due to exhaustion. COVID and substitute shortages add a new layer of complexity, leaving you stressed and guilt-ridden. We get it, and we’ve got solutions.

Streamlining Your Lesson Planning and Lesson Prep

1. Create a Curriculum Map

  • Develop a roadmap for each course.
  • Know where you’re heading, making planning less overwhelming.
  • Prioritize this to gain clarity for effective planning.

2. Don’t Overthink Ideas

  • Trust your expertise; you’re ahead of your students.
  • Avoid overanalyzing lesson ideas; your initial thoughts are often great.
  • Save time by going with your instincts.

3. Use Templates

  • Have a structured plan for each class.
  • Format your classes consistently.
  • Plug and play, filling in the details easily.

4. Reuse and Recycle

  • If it works, reuse it.
  • Don’t hesitate to recycle successful activities.
  • Adapt and apply across various class periods.

Lessons from a Nine-Prep Teacher

Our guide draws from experience, including teaching nine different preps in a school year. Flexibility is key, and we’ve learned to simplify and adapt.

Embrace Your Expertise

Remember, you’re an amazing teacher. Trust your ideas and don’t succumb to the pressure of perfection. It’s okay to reuse successful strategies.

Utilizing Resources for Effortless Planning and Lesson Prep

1. Online Resources

  • Find go-to curriculums that offer structure.
  • Utilize platforms like Teachers Pay Teachers for specific standards.

2. Facebook Groups

  • Join content-specific groups.
  • Search for what you need rather than scrolling aimlessly.

3. AI Assistance

  • Leverage AI tools like ChatGPT for initial brainstorming.
  • Save time on the groundwork and focus on refining with your expertise.

Key Takeaways

  1. Streamline Lesson Planning
    • Use templates and curriculum maps.
    • Don’t overthink; trust your ideas.
    • Reuse and recycle successful activities.
  2. Embrace Your Expertise
    • You’re an incredible teacher; believe in your ideas.
  3. Utilize Resources
    • Online platforms, Facebook groups, and AI can aid planning.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll conquer the planning nightmare and make teaching an enjoyable experience. Remember, you’ve got this!

The Sunday scaries are real. And not only that, have you ever experienced the second prep or second period scaries where you knew what you were doing during your first period but had no idea what you were doing second period? And maybe you spent all of first period trying to figure out what you were doing second period.

Been there? Done that? More times than I would like to admit. Today, we are going to be talking about ways that you can conquer this planning nightmare those reoccurring, waking up in the middle of the night, really thinking that you have no idea what you are going to be doing the next day, and make it so that you enjoy teaching and not stress out so much about the planning.

In the introduction, I mentioned some of the things that I experienced a few different times, but you have some. other fun things that you might be experiencing as a multiple prep teacher.

We’ve already kind of addressed the fact that you may know what’s happening in one class period but not another class period based on just a whole bunch of different things. It could be that you don’t feel like you’re an expert in that area. It could be that you like this one class more than others.

Or You forgot. There’s also other things like wasting of your planning period. And not intentionally, but  I remember being so exhausted and tired from the first couple of classes that when finally my prep period hit, I would just sit there because I didn’t know what to do. I was so overwhelmed. And with the overwhelm, I didn’t know what to do next.

 I didn’t know what was going to be the most beneficial for my students or myself for my time. I had no clue. And so I puttered around. I checked email. I did a whole bunch of other things that then compounded my, my planning issue. Now, another new thing that I know that our teachers deal with, and since COVID and substitute shortage can be a whole different thing, but where you have planned on using your planning period to get something done because you need it done for that class period after your planning period.

And then you are asked to substitute or fill in or whatever your school or district calls it, when you have to sit in somebody else’s class. pretty much just babysit their students and so now you’re totally thrown off because your planning period was taken away from you and because everything is being done last minute you are super super stressed and kind of feel guilty about saying no to your administrators but really you need to say no.

Today we’re going to be going over Some of these things that can really help you in streamlining your lesson planning. Here are some tactics that have worked over and over and over again for many teachers, myself included. If you are new to me or don’t know about my background, because I. I’m thinking I probably haven’t talked about this for a while, but at one point I was teaching nine different preps within a school year.

That wasn’t all at the same time. I think I had like seven preps one semester and six the other semester. I did have new classes. I was adding additional classes at the semester. I wasn’t repeating things. And then I had Sometimes, where I had multiple preps, like, within one class period.

So, like, prep stacking. So, I had, like, a basic architecture class and an advanced architecture class within the same class period. So, I really couldn’t teach the same thing. But I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I’ve been able to simplify and figure out some things that were never taught to me in school to help combat this.

And I think part of the reason that it’s never taught is we’re always being taught content, but no one is ever thinking that, Oh, the ideal situation is going to have all these preps. No, your ideal is to have very few preps. If any, like to be able to repeat the same thing over and over again and get really good at it, that is the ideal, but reality sinks in and when you get a job, you take the job that you can get or maybe things that shift like technology or just different schedules or a whole bunch of different things, student interests that could change and make it so that you have to or gets get to have multiple preps.

We’re going to focus today on streamlining your lesson planning. The first thing you need to do is you need to have a curriculum map for each of your courses. You need to see where you are going, maybe not how you’re going to get there, but where you are going so that you know at any given time when you’re sitting down to plan, you know what’s coming up.

Whether that’s going to be next week or the following week, you know what’s going on. If you do not have a curriculum map, you need to create that. And you can do that various different ways, but it needs to be on the top of your priority so that when you once again sit down to plan, you have an idea of what is going to be happening in Each one of your preps, each one of your courses, classes, whatever you’re going to be calling it, you need to know what is going to be happening from day to day, from week to week, month to month, term to term, so that you know what you can be doing.

And so that these next strategies work the best for you. You and your situation. The next thing that you need to do to streamline your lesson planning is don’t overthink your ideas. You are an expert at what you do. You are older than your students. You have more educational experience. You have industry experience.

There’s a whole bunch of things that make it so that you are ahead of your students. When you come up with an idea, go with it. We spend a ton of time second guessing ourselves, thinking that we have to have the most wonderful lesson. We have to have it Pinterest perfect. We have to have it so that we can take pictures and put it on Instagram and show that we are such a fabulous teacher, when in reality, more likely than not, your first idea is going to be great.

You have to try it out, though. You will have no idea. You could spend countless hours, which I have done, countless hours searching on Pinterest, on Google, whatever, searching for a bunch of different sites, looking for lesson plans, grabbing other people’s lesson plans, and they’re terrible. And you don’t know that because you think it’s great, but now you’ve just wasted hours putting together something that, quite honestly, you could have done better yourself in five or ten minutes.

So don’t overthink your ideas. They are great. Go with it. That’s what’s going to save you the most amount of time when you are planning. The second thing is to use templates. Have something ready so that when you are going through this planning, you know what to do first, second, third, fourth. What are you going to do?

How do you like to format your classes? What do you need to think about? Do you need to come up with a bell ringer or what is the standard that you’re going on? after and your levels. Just have it all just laid out so that really all you need to do is plug and play and fill in the blanks.

And then my last thing is reuse and recycle whenever possible if you find that something works really well, for your students and it engages your students and they really like it as far as the protocol or procedure goes. Reuse it. And not only reuse it in that one class, but it is totally fine to reuse it from class period to class period.

So one that I like to talk about a lot is the gallery walk that was one of my favorites and one of my students favorites because they could give feedback to one another and we could be talking about their different designs and it had to do with the engineering design process really well. is to have them do a gallery walk.

To simplify you and your side is you could do that same protocol in first, second, maybe not fourth or fifth, but maybe you can do it in sixth period what can you do? What can you have already set up and ready to go with just some minor tweaks that you can then recycle and reuse over and over again.

And just know that it’s going to engage students. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to do something new every single time. It’s okay. Giving you permission to recycle and reuse whenever possible. The last thing we’re going to be talking about in this episode is utilizing resources.

So find some online resources that you like. Maybe there’s a curriculum that’s like a go to that Maybe it doesn’t have all of the pieces, but at least it could have, like, the structure, maybe it does have a curriculum map, maybe it has an outline, some units, maybe some ideas of possibly what you could do, and then you can fill in what’s missing using your expertise.

You can also go to places like Facebook groups there could be a Facebook group that has to do with your particular content area. And when you go into those Facebook groups and you’re looking for something specific, you’re looking for this standard. You’re looking for some way of teaching this.

That’s what you look at instead of scrolling, you just search it. Search what you’re looking for and then see if there’s anything there. You can also ask people, but that does take a little bit in getting them to respond. They may or may not respond, and it may not be like great stuff, but that is one way to use audio.

online resources. There’s also Teachers Pay Teachers. Same thing. You go in and you’re looking for specific standards, specific things that you’re wanting to teach. My other thing that I have loved to do this last year is use ChatGPT or any other AI sources to get that first initial stuff taken care of.

All that brainstorming that you spend a lot of time working on. at least get an outline and then you come in with your expertise and go through, edit it, figure out what’s going to work, what’s not going to work. Some of the practices are outdated, but you can at least edit it and it will save you an immense amount of time because you didn’t have to do all of that legwork and that initial like brainstorming and think about what you’re going to be doing. Let’s go over some of the key takeaways from this episode. , the first is you need to streamline your lesson planning in some way to make it so that things can be faster that you’re already set up for success. that would be using templates, recycling and reusing things that are working really well.

And then, the big huge mind set or mind shift that you need to make would be that you are amazing teacher and that you are coming up with some fabulous ideas and to accept that first one and test it out. Then you can really utilize your resources any online resources, any tools, textbooks, Facebook groups to really narrow down and find some things, and that will make your life Easier and hopefully help you conquer the planning nightmare.

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