Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sprucing up the syllabus

original by Steven Depolo via Flickr license
The first day of school can be so rough on kids. Too often we teachers spend all day doing administrivia--syllabus reading, folder organization, seat assignments, tech setups--which is why, for years, I've spread out those tasks over the first couple of weeks. I cringe when I think about my first day as a baby teacher -- I read the syllabus aloud to every class for 5 periods! It was a four-page document full of text! How terrible is that? Thankfully that was ages ago, and I've learned from my mistakes. But one thing seemed not to have changed since then: that four-page, text-heavy syllabus, full of rules and procedures and explanations. It was time for the syllabus to get a makeover.