Is too much choice stressing you out?

Filling the pail

How much professional freedom do you want?

In my first year of teaching science in a high school, I lived with two French teachers. They worked late most nights making card-sorts and various other kinds of activities. It was clear to me that they were having a tough time. And yet I was not doing the same. Why? Because the science department had a lesson-by-lesson scheme of work which set out all of the activities and had resources to match.

Some science schemes of work were better than others. In time, I was expected to contribute to their development as part of my professional responsibilities and I was given one of the sketchier schemes to work on. I also had a little freedom within the constraints of the program. For instance, I developed a ‘two hamsters carrying a ladder’ analogy for refraction that made its way into future department plans.

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