So two weeks of intensive “what are we doing today with plants?” days are over and we are now in the planning stages of the programme. It is up to myself and Louise to consider everything we have observed over our time here and decide, how can we best put this to use in the classroom? We have seen so much that at first our ideas our endless and during our initial planning meeting, we are both scribbling furiously as if we are hearing winning lottery numbers! We are interrupting each other, finishing each others sentences, brimming over with ideas that just have to be mentioned before another one comes along and bumps it out of memory. Which is all well and good. Until, staring at our very long list of things to do, we know something has got to give and we need to drop a few ideas. Two weeks seemed so long but in reality, it is nothing if we really want to make our mark on the curriculum and do ourselves and our research group proud with a decent, interesting programme the students will want to be a part of.
With a few things struck off the list, we decide to focus on Transition Year. It is in this area we are free to put together our own ideas rather than cut and paste them into an already jam packed leaving cert course, and it is here we can really grab the students attention by enticing them into the study of palaeobotany and plants.
If I at any stage thought this would be a simple process of sharing ideas and throwing them together, the first day of planning proved me wrong! To make something that you are happy to put your name to, you really need to be sure of what you are doing, and so… stacks of books were pulled out. It is really important to us that our students reap the benefits of us being here this summer, so lesson ideas must be filled with practicals but of course, lined out with theory.
So for now, this teacher is well and truly back at school (and I’m letting everyone know who goes on about how lucky us teachers are for the lengthy holidays!)