To scheme, or not to scheme …

Should I oppose the slings and arrows of teaching the same thing year in, year out?

Julius Caesar SOW

… THAT is the question occupying my thoughts at the moment.

No, this isn’t a Machiavellian masterplan for world domination (although see below, perhaps it’s just part of one).

What you see above is the bare bones of a 12-week (forty-eight lesson!) Scheme of Work on Julius Caesar that I’ve been toying with producing over the summer.  I’m hoping for advice – not just on the skeleton of the scheme (although that would be highly appreciated), but on whether or not to bother …

Here’s the deal: at my place we are committed, as a team, to teaching either Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet at GCSE.  We have the flexibility to teach another play from the AQA spec, as long as we produce a Scheme of Work – and all resources for it – in advance.  I’m fine with that: it makes perfect sense as a contingency against illness or indeed leaving for another job.  We also work on the basis of not buying in resources unless we have to, writing in-house to tailor to our students – another thing I am generally in favour of, even if I hope to make a little money from it (see below).

So, here’s the dilemma.  Just writing this through might help me decide, I thought – but it hasn’t.  I would genuinely welcome some feedback.


  • I have wanted to teach JC for a while;
  • JC will freshen up my teaching practice, as in almost every other area I will be teaching the same texts as last year, and indeed the year before;
  • Producing schemes and resources is something I quite enjoy, when I have the time;
  • All respect to my colleagues and their various unique strengths, but several of them simply can’t put together a scheme of work that actually works;
  • I am ‘the Shakespeare guy’, so if anyone’s going to do it, it had better be me;
  • I’m considering trying to sell the scheme and resources as a way of earning a little extra income;
  • Part of me wants to produce something I might show to future employers, or take elsewhere, if my plans for world domination at my current place don’t pan out this year;


  • I am a perfectionist: experience tells me that this will take two weeks out of my summer;
  • that will potentially put a strain on other things I want to accomplish during the hols, and annoy my non-Shakespeare other half, too;
  • I might return in September far less relaxed if I spend a significant chunk of the holiday working on this;
  • There will, I mean WILL, be no thanks for or acknowledgement of any work I have put in, at my current place (something I have learned over the past three years). Despite that, colleagues who have had a full summer off will inevitably use the scheme;
  • Next year I will, to an extent, be out of my comfort zone as I teach a new scheme to a class I don’t know (far easier to write a scheme for students you know well);
  • If I wanted to produce a scheme for financial gain, there are better plays to focus on, as only AQA offer JC;

It’s not as easy, of course, as comparing the number of bullet points for and against.  So what do YOU think I should do?


Author: Boar's Head, Eastcheap

Hyperactive English Teacher and Tutor; Shakespeare-obsessed 'Villainous abominable misleader of youth'; 'old white-bearded Satan'; Friend of the Orangutan

2 thoughts on “To scheme, or not to scheme …”

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