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Friday, June 13, 2008

It Ain't Gonna Cut

40 Minutes.

That's how much time I now have in teaching Social Studies. It's the start of regular classes today after a two-day school orientation and a day of subject orientation and I realized that as I try to accomplish what is in my lesson, the more it becomes complex due to the fact that I tried teaching a topic worth 50 minutes in the span of 40.

Back when I was in the high school, I could accomplish at least up to my learning activity in the usual 50 minute session. Today, what I managed to accomplish was up to my springboard activity, with explanations relating to the main topic left out. Indeed, 40 minutes ain't gonna cut.

I began my discussion in sixth grade with the usual energizer: the Alive, Alert, Awake, Enthusiastic song which would awaken them while at the same time saving time in having to organize them into groups. The students difficulty, however, of getting the instructions correctly took much of my time. In all I consumed around 10 minutes for this activity. Once the grouping was established I proceeded with the springboard activity for my lesson about the Definition and Difference of Nation and State.

I gave each group an object that they would try to convince me to buy using a 2 minute commercial. The catch is, they would have to identify the function and parts of the product being sold during the commercial. I gave the class 10 minutes to brainstorm and practice. By that time I already consume 20 minutes plus 5 minutes for small talk. What was left was 15 minutes which was reserved for presentation and explanatory talk.

However, considering that the groups were quite shy due to the fact that they're just in their first week in sixth grade, some groups ate up most of their presentation time in delays or forgotten cues. The 10 minute presentation soon became 15 minutes and I am now on red alert for overtime.

So instead of immediately explaining the connection of the activity to my lesson, I ended up leaving to them the task of thinking about it during the weekend. Since I do not have more time to spare for checking the assignments, I hurriedly collected the notebooks from them. Later this afternoon, I had to check four sections of notebooks from 2 PM to 5:30 PM, giving an overtime of one hour from work and throbbing a head due to migraine.

On Monday, I am hoping to at least explain to them the connection of my springboard activity to my topic on Nation and State and proceed in defining and comparing these two concepts. Definitely, a lot of time-saving strategies have to be employed in order to at least finish the topic on time and in line with my lesson plan and syllabus. It's complex but I am counting it will be feasible.

Again, another day in the secret life of a teacher.

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