26.7.10

My "In-Service" Week

I designated the week from Monday, July 19 through Sunday, July 25 as my "in-service" week. EG was at an all-day science camp, and FB attended a half-day sports camp, which meant I had a few quiet hours each day. I used the time to renew myself a bit and get ready for this upcoming year.

What did I do?

I listened to several talks on my iPhone. One was a new talk, a download about teaching Latin. The others were talks I had previously listened to, and I attempted to glean new insights and remember old ones. They were all from Susan Wise Bauer: Elementary Grades Plan for Teaching Writing, Middle Grades Plan for Teaching Writing, Teaching Students to Work Independently, and What Is Literary Analysis. That, then, was was one component of my "in-service."

I also read Lighting Their Fires, which I had seen recommended several times. It's a good read for all parents and all educators, but that makes it doubly important for parent-educators. ;) It's nothing earth-shattering, but it is concise, easy to read, and would be easy to pick up to focus on just one part. Along with that reading, I re-read some portions of The Well-Trained Mind, focusing only on those most pertinent to what subjects I would be teaching to what ages.

I did a few "housekeeping" tasks - copying all the cumulative quizzes from Caesar's English II, printing the first week's worth of drill, setting up the kids' memory work binders, and moving materials into the school area, which included setting up EG's new Desk Apprentice. The verdict on it is already one of excitement. I plan to get FB one, and myself two - one for knitting books & supplies, one for teacher books & supplies.

I did a bit of "reflection." I wrote out basic goals for the school year: eight objectives for FB, and eleven for EG. I also reflected on summer activities in which the kids had participated, looked ahead to next summer, and thought about the amount of work I require from the kids over the summer.

Two items were on my list to complete during "in-service" but I haven't yet completed them. I'm still working on developing our plan for memory work this year. I have lists, but I need to compile them and then arrange them in some sort of order within each subject. I also need to go over EG's planner with her. Since its calendar doesn't start until August 1, though, I realized we could go over different portions of it at leisure during this week.

I'm glad I did the "in-service" week, though I think that in the future, I'd like to be more deliberate in planning ahead for it (this was more or less planned a day ahead of time). Ideally, I'd like to plan two separate times, one for the planning and housekeeping, the other for my reading, listening, and reflecting. Finally, in the latter one, I'd like to reserve a longer portion of time at least one day of the week.
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"A little rebellion every now and then is a good thing." - Thomas Jefferson