I received an emailed course description from a member of the PLC to look over and it was too complex. Does anybody else do that – write mini novels about course expectations each fall?
Maybe it’s because we got long descriptions of our courses from teachers in college. Many of us explain everything from how we weigh grades to bathroom breaks to everything in between.
Here’s my point. Kids don’t read them. So why write them? Can’t we get our class procedures and all that in place via our actions and not words? Do we write these monstrosities because some administrator needs a pile of them to put next to all the other piles of stuff she gets from us at this time of year?
I think we should use posters to convey ideas about how we run our classes. This is the way our children will learn what we expect from them. The Classroom Rules poster, the Rigor posters, jGR, and all of what we have in place here in the form of posters from our work in previous years, work in ways that a long winded introductory letter cannot.
We have to simplify the way we teach, or we will never get out of the old ways of confusion and argument with students over what is expected of them. We have to change. So the idea of simplicity should be one of the main threads of this year. We can’t drive ourselves nuts with unnecessary explanation this year. We just need to do the CI and relax.