Although Eisenhower may have overstated the case a bit when he made that famous comment, I think there is a lot of truth in it.
Even though the plans we make may fall apart, the knowledge we have gained during the process of formulating them will help us deal with whatever new situations arise.
I will feel like I have won the lottery if sixty percent of the plans I’m making for the new school year actually work.
I’ll happily settle for forty percent.
I’ve spent a fair amount of the past month planning for the new school year, including watching many hours of instructional videos learning how to use web tools and practicing with them. Though I didn’t start out with a “plan for planning,” it has turned into a four-phase process that, I think, is working out fairly well.
Step One was getting a basic overall plan for the school year – what I thought would work as a typical class routine (based on my spring experiences) and what my basic content would be (IB changing the curriculum for The Theory of Knowledge course resulted in lots of hours on that).
That first phase resulted in the first three posts at HERE ARE DETAILED – & TENTATIVE – DISTANCE LEARNING PLANS FOR ALL MY FALL CLASSES.
Step Two was identifying my community-building and Social Emotional Learning plans for the beginning of the school year. You can find some of those ideas at a three part series at my Education Week Teacher column and at the bottom of Answers To “What Do You Do On The First Day Of School?”
Step Three, which is what I’m doing this week, is planning what I think each class might look like during the first five days of school. I’ve also used this time to add some more tech tools and strategies that I’ve recently learned (you can see those in the latter posts at HERE ARE DETAILED – & TENTATIVE – DISTANCE LEARNING PLANS FOR ALL MY FALL CLASSES. In addition, I’m making a final Step Four “to do” list for each class – slidedecks, calling homes to make sure students sign up for Google Classroom, checking to see if textbooks have come in, registering students for Padlet accounts, etc.
Next week is when I’ll finish that final step.
I’m sure this process won’t work for everybody, but it has made the process manageable and not too overwhelming for me.
And, most importantly, it’s has been preparing me for when all those plans go to hell in a handbasket.