All The Work I Made for Myself

The summer is winding down. In about a month I will be kicking off my classes and starting the gaming process! I am so excited. I’ve been going back over my syllabi making sure I’ve got all the holes cleaned up, and I realized something. It’s a good thing I’m super excited about this gaming stuff because I have just made some extra work for myself.

For my Explorations in Literacy class, which I’ve used as an example here throughout, I found I had created the following assignment:

you will be given a social challenge to complete during our online weeks (9/14, 9/21, 10/5, 10/12, 10/26, 11/2, and 11/16). These challenges will be posted on the class PI page. They will be posted by 5:00 on Friday before the online week officially starts. For example, our first online week is 9/14. Therefore, the video challenge will be posted by 5:00 pm on 9/11.

I realized that you probably don’t know what I mean about the class PI page. I’ll get back to that in a future post. Basically, think of it like a private FB page for my class.

My question to myself is this: what the heck am I going to be doing for these social challenges? What is a social challenge? Guess what, I’m just sharing these questions with you. I currently have no real answers.

The assignment stems from the book What Connected Educators do Differently.  The idea is to get teachers to build up their professional social-network.

In my second class, a content area literacy class, I have an assignment that requires teachers to post a video of their teaching. But instead of asking people to provide feedback on each other’s work, I said this:

All final due dates for each lesson are during days when we meet online. For each of these sessions, you will be provided with rules to engage in a quest related to one or more of the posted videos. The directions for your quest will be posted on the overview for the day.

See, because I said that the directions for the quest will be posted for the overview of the day, that means that the directions are going to be constantly shifting.

Sidenote: On my syllabus, I have a page for each class date we meet regardless of if it’s an in-person or online week (recall this class is hybrid). I provide an overview of what we will be doing on that day and what they need to have done/be prepared to do.

So now reality is setting in. I am going to have to be writing quests as we go through the semester. It would be helpful if I could write the first one now. Probably I should get on that. And yes, I know I made this work for myself. And yes, I am still looking forward to it. But the reality of what I am going to have to keep up with is starting to sink in a bit. I still think it’s doable.

I realized that part of doing class this way means you, as the teacher, have to be really open to not knowing what is going to come next. Truth, I generally plan my classes as I move throughout the semester. Sometimes I reuse something from the last class, but most of the content and the way it’s presented is used or heavily refined. So in some regards, I am used to this.

But this time around, it’s different. This isn’t the same as needing to figure out how to structure my discussion or identify a video etc…I have to design quests in both classes throughout the semester. Maybe it will turn out to not be as different as I think, but I think the opportunity is there for it to be VERY different and very engaging, and I want to embrace that. Which means I have to embrace the uncertainty that comes with it.

One Year Ago Today