Faking it: How strict is your curriculum?

Faking it: How strict is your curriculum?

We have a new person joining our Humanities team next semester. He’s going to dive head first into our curriculum and I’m worried that he’ll drown under the weight of 2000 years of philosophy, art and literature. I’m sure he’ll be fine.

As I was preparing the curriculum chart for the next semester, I thought about making a step-by-step guide of all that I do in my classroom. I could just keep track of every formative activity we do in the classroom. I can give him my handouts and lessons and give him a ready-to-go, out of the box curriculum guide! Make it easy for him!

Then I realized that I don’t really have anything like that. I titled this blog “Faking it” because, despite my sixteen years in the classroom, I often feel like I’m just faking being a teacher. I’m not like other teachers. I don’t have everything planned out carefully in binders with laminated sheets and carefully planned presentations and lessons. I don’t know exactly how many grades I’ll give in a given quarter or even what I’ll be doing the next day in class.

Confession time, right?

I have always felt like if I plan too much, then I’m missing out on the most important and fun part of teaching. Every year is different. Every classroom is unique. Every group of students deserves to be treated as a different group. With a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching, I feel like I would miss out on that most joyful experience of discovery that comes when I limit my planning and let the spirit of education move me!

So would I be doing a disservice to create this pre-fab curriculum for my new team member? Or would I be doing a disservice to NOT create it? To be or not to be, right?

I never like to be told what to teach or how to teach it. But maybe that’s a fault of my own stubborn drive to be different. Maybe other teachers do like to have plans handed to them. Is it just me? I don’t know. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I still don’t know.

Being at Westside has given me the opportunity to be much more prepared and much more of a professional teacher than I had been in the past. I have a team. We have agreed upon summative assignments. We do mostly the same thing at the same time, so there is definitely more planning here than elsewhere. But I still want to hold on to some of my independence and individuality, and I want others to feel the freedom to do so as well.

My Humanities Curriculum ChartP
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