(This picture isn’t from camp, I realized I never got a picture with my co-teacher there! Instead, this is the first teacher I ever worked with. She taught me so much about how to be a thoughtful co-teacher!)
Teachers are the ultimate ducks…we are totally calm and serene on top but underneath we are paddling like made to keep it all going! I was very lucky that my co-teacher and I were in-sync on the direction we were “paddling.” It wasn’t dumb luck though, we had been planning this class for months, had exchanged about a hundred emails and met in person a few times.
Every day before class we’d go through the plan for the day and after class we’d talk through the next day. Maybe it seems like overkill, but it let us just know what was coming up , instead of fumbling through. Also, it meant we didn’t overspend on materials or forget something!
A few more thoughts…
Overplan: If you have four hours to fill…plan for six. You never know when something you thought the kids would love falls flat. On the other hand, be ready to let things go if they really take off with an idea.
Materials: Think through how the materials can be used. Do you need ground rules? Restrictions? Is free range ok? What other creative things can you suggest? This will help keep things fresh.
Assignments: Know who is teaching what. It seems simple, but you really want to know who is teaching what section, who is prepping projects etc. It will just save you so much time!
Praise: Be appreciative and honest. Set up in advance how you can touch base if there are conflicts. Speak up about your needs (a quick breather, a bathroom break….). Be appreciate and praise good work! It is so easy to just put your head down and GO without taking that time.