One down

I’ve said this before: I don’t know how to relax. I had my first day of Real Summer Break today, distinguished from the end of last week (which seems like a distant memory already) by the fact that my wife had to go back to work and the boy and I had to fend for ourselves all day. I don’t have a routine yet, or (much of) a plan for one, but I did spend some time this morning planning for next year and Sending Important Emails that I’ve been putting off.

Specifically, I’m putting together a list of 28 (seven per quarter) skills that I feel like my kids should have mastered before 8th grade– some of them, well before 8th grade– and which we’re going to be working on during one of the two class periods I’ll have with each of my kids next year. I’m experimenting with several things at once here that I don’t have a lot of experience with– heavy differentiation, complete with (maybe?) centers, where, in theory, the kids in the room could be working on as many as 8 or 9 different skills at once, since I’m going to have kids who can “pass” a standard almost immediately if they already know how to do it, as well as standards-based grading and much heavier skills tracking than I’ve used in previous years.

What I need is for this to actually work, and not collapse under the weight of discipline issues and the number of kids in the room who are going to try and choose to opt out of being educated at all. I’m worried that I’m going to spend the entire summer planning and then end up abandoning the whole thing by the middle of September.

(Thinks about something, throws an email at his boss)

I did some initial studying today, too, and some of the Important Emails that got Sent were trying to nail down exactly how this process of National Boardsing actually works; I had my plan provisionally approved by my coach, who doesn’t actually have to approve my plan, but it was nice that she did, but now I need to know what to do to actually, like, tell these people that I want to take their lil’ math test, and it would probably be useful for me to know when/how often that test is administered, too.

And then there’s all the other stuff. I got some organizing done in my office, mostly finished a bookbinding project I’ve been working on for a while, and did some light cleaning. Played some Returnal and discovered that suddenly I suck at it. Would have jumped in the pool, but it rained all day so I didn’t.

I need to get into a rhythm as quickly as I can, and I probably need to get into the habit of being showered and dressed as quickly as I typically was during the school year. I’m going to focus a bit more on the cleaning and organizing side of things tomorrow; we’ll see how well I do. Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have my topics pulled together and can start organizing them by quarter and figuring out how this entire process is actually going to work.

Let’s go.

Published by

Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

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