12 days. In 12 days my students will cross the threshold of my classroom. In 12 days dozens of eyes will be waiting for me to guide them and instruct them. In 12 days my class will begin engaging in the messy business of learning. But where do I begin?
Each summer I use my time to plan and prepare, designing and modifying both lessons and activities. Having been away at overnight camp this summer, aside from reading, I’ve done little to get ready for those first few days. I now find myself 12 days before the start of school struggling to get started. There are so many things I want to do differently and focusing on all of them simultaneously is absolutely impossible.
I can’t help wonder if selecting only one goal is a failure of sorts. Why does it feel like if I want to focus on that goal there is a trade-off, like I need to sacrifice my vision for my classroom? My students are not ready for my ideal and time is a gigantic stumbling block. I cannot possibly do it all right now. And that feeling sucks.
So now as I sit at the airport waiting for a flight, I go through my mental checklist and prioritize. I think my first goal will be developing a greater number sense in my students. I hope I effectively design and execute lessons or activities that lead my students towards that goal, all the while maintaining the integrity of my vision. I hope I can put everything into perspective and take comfort in it. The achievement of that goal means that I am one step closer to my ideal.