Organizing and planning is something that I have heard is a major aspect of being a good teacher. Not only is it a major aspect of being a good teacher, but it is something that is probably the bare minimum of what it means to be a good teacher. Having poor skills in these areas seems like a death trap for young teachers who would like to keep their jobs and their sanity.

Unit planning is an enormous responsibility for teachers to do well and follow. Not only do teachers have to plan every single day, but they have to plan units as well as the entire year. All of which involve a lot of time, organization, and planning. If our class tackles these issues and is given advice and instruction of how to plan a trimester, semester, or even an entire year, I think it will give us a good start going into or semester of student assisting and student teaching.

So far in this class, ENG 311 with Dr. Rozema, and in my SST 310 (Strategies for Social Studies Teachers) class, we have all dealt with lesson plans, and different theories of how a classroom should be taught. In ENG 311 we made about two weeks worth of lesson plans of a specific unit we wanted to teach. Our topics were basically whatever we wanted to teach through literature. In this class we did a weeks worth of lesson plans about a certain writing style and how we can teach it in an English class. The three were poetry, literature writing, and essays. In my SST 310 class we took four different lesson plans from economics, government, world, and American history and taught one lesson plan in front of the class. Not one of them really had us practice a large block of classes.  We all know the issue of time, and the stress of following the Michigan Content Standards. Since Dr. Ellis has experience with all of these areas I think some of her advice, readings, activities, etc. could greatly benefit anyone in class. In all honesty I have no clue how I would even start planning out an entire year.

One of the things I think we could tackle is actually looking at the content standards for a certain grade in the secondary level, and have us learn the steps it takes to try and conquer all of these goals. I know that is a stressful thing to try and do. Dr. Rozema had an old student of his come to our class that used to teach in California, and she told us about her experiences with content standards. She said that in California they had to follow the content standards very strictly to the point of having to write the content standard on the board every morning for any school official to see throughout the day. One debate we could have in class is how to adhere to the standards of the state and country, while trying to promote books and issues that aren’t necessarily in the statewide curriculum but could bring out teachable moments in students. I think this is an issue many of us will have to deal with for the rest of our teaching careers, and having a teacher that has been through this can be a big benefit for everybody in class.

When we, future teachers, start our assisting and actual teaching I think we can benefit by learning how to plan and more specifically when to plan. Should our planning start the summer before we teach, or is it a week by week or month by month basis? Another thing that should be addressed is what to do when a teacher’s plan does not go to plan. What is the process for teachers when something they planned for twenty minutes lasts ten minutes or when something they plan for a week takes multiple weeks? These are all issues with organization and planning that I think will be very beneficial for our class to learn these last few weeks of class. Learning how to plan for an entire month, year, etc. and how to adhere to the content standards are some of the biggest issues I think we will face once we are in the teaching world.

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