During my first semester at my new teaching job I was blindsided by the amount of days that my kids are excused from school. On top of two traveling nationally ranked prep hockey teams and the numerous co-curricular religious retreats the school sponsors and the fact that our every other day block schedule means that sometimes I only see my students two times a week anyway, I had no idea how to deal with so many absences.
This semester I am prepared. Instead of planning my lessons one unit at a time I am working with one semester-long lesson scope and sequence document which has as many of these mass absences noted as I could possibly track down.
Life is so much easier when we get a do-over.