Friday, March 19, 2021

Eight Days A Week

Here's a lesson plan organizer spreadsheet. It shows the classes I'm teaching and the cohorts assigned. All I need to do from here is flesh it out with some quality lessons.

Rinse and repeat. The sheet below accounts for the week of March 22. There will be 16 lessons each week for the remainder of the school year. Just gotta write 'em down and roll 'em out.

And then you woke up.

Actually, there are adult humans who imagine that this is something I will or should be doing. The coronavirus and "kids out of my house now!" fever have conspired to suffocate their logic and reasoning skills. 

Looking at that planner again, realize now that I left out the engaging but purely asynchronous lessons I need to prepare for Wednesdays. Good thing I can go back and edit those in.

Addendum 1: You might wonder why this is so much worse than pre-pandemic in-person instruction as it was in the Before Times. I have taught all of these courses before and know how to make each one work in-person. Those courses benefited from my 35 years for experience in the physics classroom.

Pandemic instruction throws me back to being a first-year neophyte in many ways. I have never worked so hard to be so ineffective. Not even in my first year of teaching in 1986-87.

Now it's hoped I can develop yet another thing that's never existed before: robust lessons for students who are physically distanced and thus cannot work in groups—but who are physically present in the science classroom. 

In addition to running the distance learning lessons that I have also never done before.

I'm sorry. I cannot do these things. Asking me to do them is abusive. I am already destroyed from the school year. I never had miracles to offer, and I certainly don't have any now.

Addendum 2: Instructional time for each course has been reduced from 288 minutes per week (59x2 + 123 + 47) pre-pandemic to fewer than 200 minutes per week (90 + 90 + 15) to 100 minutes per week (50 + 50). We lost one third of our instructional time for most of the year and will lose two thirds of our instructional time for the remainder of the year.

The district has worked hard to make sure students cannot access wifi on campus. Go ahead and re-read that if it didn't sink in on the first read. And after eight months of device-based instruction, the district expects that students electing to take their instruction on campus to go device-free for that instruction. District administration truly does expect "different but equal" in-person vs. remote courses to be prepared and implemented by instructors.


Addendum 3: Hybrid Cohort Logistics. In the future, people might not believe the contortions implemented by school districts. Best to document them while they're fresh in our minds.

A. The Weekly Schedule of Cohorts and Classes. Yes, I designed this myself. Color mixing and font choice were intentional.

B. The Daily Bell Schedules. The most important consideration here was that the start and end times matched the school's pre-pandemic start and end times. It's important to have priorities.

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