Friend: Your holidays started yet?
Teacher: Yes, a few weeks ago.
Friend: Lucky for some, huh.
Teacher: [Pause] I guess so.
Friend: So what is it that you do with all those weeks?
Teacher: Go on holiday for a bit, obviously.
Friend: You get paid for doing nothing?
Teacher: Not nothing. Just different things. I guess it’s a bit like working freelance?
Friend: In that you don’t work at all?
Teacher: Hmmm, well not in the traditional, Puritan, work-must-be-unpleasant sense. It’s a time for creative renewal, before the merry-go-round starts again.
Teacher: Yep, it’s the curse of teaching, that Groundhog Day paradox of “getting to do it again” and “having to do it again”.
Teacher: Well, presuming I’ve reacquired sufficient patience needed to see it through, and the law of unintended consequences doesn’t brutally intervene, there are five things I’m going to evolve this year.
Friend: Do you know what, I don’t care. I’ve had my holiday for this year, and it’s my Saturday. Want a drink?
My Merry-Go-Round Five
- Shared vision. Provide a year long map of the year for the students in a live Google Doc.
- Mix it up. Keep coming back to the essentials, using fortnightly quizzes with Kahoot. The rules? After I model the first one, students are placed on a yearlong rotation in pairs to create a five question quiz on content studied in the previous weeks. If the students want it, I’ll run a yearlong leaderboard in Google sheets.
- Read more. Students will sign up for a Goodreads account to record and share books. Alongside weekly DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), there will be fortnightly Hot Reads, when, on rotation, a student will make a three minute presentation about a great book they’ve recently read.
- Write more. Students will establish and experiment with blogging. This will include time, fortnightly, to blog and comment upon each other’s blogs.
- Do less, better. To read more and write more, some content will be removed from the year to enrich essential skills and understandings.
Do you have a Merry-Go-Round five?