The Best Laid Plans

I’m hoping to blog every day of March for Slide of Life by Two Writing Teachers


Day 5 The Best Laid Plans

Today was only the second day I’ve taken off since this school year began. I guess I’m just not getting as sick this year. (Go hand washing and masks!) I know I have avoided scheduling appointments during the school day, too, since I find preparing to be out is difficult. (Elementary students generally aren’t “mean” to guest teachers, but planning for all the subjects that happen during a day is hard!) This particular appointment, originally scheduled for 3:45, was then changed by them, twice. I decided to let the 12:30 appointment stand, and that meant…. Guest teacher plans! 

In a normal year it might take me a little over an hour to write plans for an afternoon. It felt like it took me five days. (FYI, we have been face-to-face since January.) I already had the “notes” section done from the first time I was out – all the information items that are separate from the actual teaching. What made this plan tricky is the unknown. Would a kid be in quarantine and be remote? Could the guest teacher get into my Google Meet since GM decided to change the way their meets open? (They did this without any notification, I’ll have you know.) And, would my two remote student teachers be able to teach without me there to facilitate? Yes, I said that correctly, there are two of them and they are remote. Don’t get me started on that.

My interns created their own GM link, which I named our “Just in Case Link” on our school platform. I put it in both my homeroom and math platform pages, and crossed my fingers they wouldn’t need it. One intern was running half of math, both would work with a few students during word study and then the other would play a short game to end the afternoon. The guest teacher would do the other half of math, monitor the rest of the kids using their online word study activity, and then help with the game. I read & tweaked the plans, rechecked the links, printed materials and the math lesson pages the intern would be using. The guest teacher got there a little early, so she and I talked through how she would hook up so she could talk with and project the interns at the appropriate times. We have recess right after lunch this year, so she planned to keep open the meet in order to talk with them before math started.

What had I not plan for? An internet outage 3 minutes before math started and lasted over an hour.

And I’m out a full day next week.


Categorized as Linda

By Greg&Linda

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  1. The best laid plans have nothing over “An internet outage 3 minutes before math started.” Two virtual interns and a guest teacher can’t do much about that. More power (pun intended) to you. A well-deserved break is on your horizon.


  2. I got to the end of your piece and physically recoiled. You did a beautiful job unraveling the complications of this year. I only wish it was a happy ending.


  3. that’s the thing with best laid plans – they can never (NEVER) capture every possibility! I am with you in the details and effort that goes into being out of school. And, I think you should know that we were all winging it yesterday afternoon! I had a book in hand, and tried to make the best of the options still available to me. Teaching on-the-fly is kinda becoming our thing! 😉


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