Lions and Tigers and Curriculums, Oh My!

I am sitting at my desk staring at my unit calendar, which is largely blank, and I’m about to have a nervous break, so let’s blog about it. 

During grad school we covered a whole lot of educational theory and the occasional practical skill.  Many of the practical skills (classroom management, lesson planning) were covered through teaching apprenticeships and student teaching. The one thing that wasn’t covered, at least to any degree of usefulness, was curriculum development. I think someone said at one point “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll get a pacing guide.”

And yet this is where I find myself a week and a half ahead of my first year of teaching, and panic is setting in. I have already looked at the Common Core pacing guide from the Appendix to the standards. I’ve borrowed heavily from another school in our network that I student taught at. I even found an amazing wiki online with suggestions for how the first unit should go. I have all these great tasks available online and through other teachers. I’m not hurting for resources.

Yet I keep staring at my unit map and I’m not sure how to proceed. At this point I know it’s more a mental block than anything else, but it’s almost paralyzing. What if I don’t give enough time for concepts? What if I teach a bunch of topics that students already know? What if I avoid both of those issues but don’t give myself enough time to cover everything in the year (well, more so than I already face)?  

I know these are common fears, and I know I just have to just choose a path and make it work one way or the other. I also know myself well enough to know that eventually I’ll get so annoyed at myself for being paralyzed that I’ll power through and whatever I come up with will not be the terrible disaster I foresee. But it’s intense and I need to bitch about it for a bit until I can get there. 

But I’d better get there soon because these posters are not going to make themselves.