Today is the last day of our school year.
So, here are my professional plans for the next two-and-a-half months:
1. Katie Hull and I have to finally finish the second edition of The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide. It will be at least twice the size of the first edition, and will include guest chapters written by all your favorite ELL teachers from around the world. And it’s going to be a pain-in-the-butt to write. We were originally going to do it last summer but, instead, edited the three new Toolbox books.
2. I’m part of an informal group, including our administrators, figuring out how the hell our school is going to reopen in the fall, so that’s going to take some time and energy.
3. The International Baccalaureate program, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to make substantial changes in the Theory of Knowledge course curriculum. As part of that, I have to take a twenty-or-so hour online class to get up to speed. Oh, joy (I’m being sarcastic about the professional development, not the course itself, which is wonderful).
4. I, along with every other teacher in the land, have to begin to make preliminary plans for several potential reopening scenarios, as I prepare to teach ELL Newcomers and Intermediates, a U.S. History class for ELLs, and my Theory of Knowledge classes – what tools to use, how to use them, what to teach in person (if that’s an option) and what to teach online, how best to teach a class outside (if that’s an option), etc.
5. Apart from those pedagogical concerns, I need to spend a substantial amount of time reflecting on how I am going to apply the lessons I’m learning from the murder of George Floyd to how and what I teach, how I function as a member of our school’s faculty, and how I best use the influence I have in the broader education world.
6. Because of some major renovations happening at our school, during the summer I have to pack-up two classrooms worth of stuff (yes, I have a “suite”) and temporarily move to a new room. I’ll get to move again during Winter Break to a new and spacious spot, but moving is no fun, especially when there aren’t students around to help.
7. Publish twenty mid-year “Best” lists (you can see them all from the past thirteen years here).
8. Since my previously planned schedule of questions and responses at my Ed Week column was rightly put aside – first, by the school closure crisis, and then by the murder of George Floyd – I have a ton of new posts planned for there before my tenth-year doing that feature begins in September.
9. Katie Hull and I have been doing lots of videos with Education Week. Look for one more – it will be offering advice to people who are newly entering the teaching profession during this crazy year. Veteran teachers might find it useful, too.
For the next couple of days, though, I’m just going to sit and read the new prequel to The Hunger Games.