As my first full-time year begins, I find I’m not giving as much attention to student work as I would like to. I’ve been telling myself it’s because I’m still swamped prepping, but of course that’s backward.

I realized last night that I’ve been avoiding collecting and looking at their work because I know it’s going to tell me I need to make alterations to my planned lessons. That’s the point of looking at the work. But deep inside, I’m afraid of that, because once I know my current plans are not appropriate, that means I’ll have to figure out what to do instead. And I’m afraid I won’t know what to do.

It’s also true that it’s taking a lot of time to get ready to teach what I planned. The additional time required to edit the plan and then prepare is daunting.

But scared or not, time allowing or not, that’s what has to be done. There’s no point in teaching lessons if I don’t figure out how to connect them to what my students already know, so I need to know what that is, and make the connection. Hiding from it won’t help.

Is this my own private neurosis? Do other new teachers feel this way? Do experienced teachers feel this way?