Making plans available to parents

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TomFool, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. TomFool

    TomFool New Member

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    Mar 7, 2012

    An interesting discussion occurred at my school. A teacher was emailing her weekly plans to the parents so that they could see what the students would be doing next week. The administration told her that weekly plans were an internal document for the school and that parents should never see them. The fear was that the parents would get the impression that the teacher was unnecessary in the process if they could have the plans. Also, it was said that the parents would use that against the teacher and find ways to complain. I'm curious of everyone's opinion on this matter as we have discussed it quite a bit and would like opinions from outside the school. Should the teacher keep the plans from the parents?
     
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  3. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Mar 7, 2012

    Yes.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I am happy to share my plans with whoever wants to see them at the end of the day. My only hesitation to post or share plans ahead of time is that it might obligate me to those plans, and that doesn't give me the flexibility I sometimes need when it comes to reteaching or spending more time on a difficult concept or moving more quickly when a class seems to grasp a concept more easily than I expected. While I do my best to stay on track, sometimes I need to deviate from my plans for other reasons as well, like technology malfunctions, excessive absenteeism on a particular day, or some unexpected (or unknown to me) school activity resulting in a shortened or skipped class period.
     
  5. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Mar 7, 2012

    Ours are posted on the gradebook we use...so parents or anyone with a password can see them.
     
  6. hubbopolis

    hubbopolis Rookie

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    This is sad and unfortunate. The problem I have right now with my middle schooler is that textbooks seem to be going out of favor, so I have very little in the way of material to help her study, and am always in a reactive mode when new topics are introduced. One of her teachers is very proactive and I appreciate it every time I take advantage of the preparatory information she provides us parents (she also makes all of her smartboard notes in the form of PDFs, as well as review materials and homework).

    I think the notion that providing lesson plans would make teachers unnecessary is patently absurd. Parents with a full time job are barely able to help their kid with the homework that has been prepared for them, and parents that are not working will learn VERY quickly the truth of the matter if they want to take this on their own.

    All of that said, my wife is a first grade teacher and I know first hand how dynamic the process is, and if she was actually held accountable to a weekly lesson plan, it would diminish her teams ability to tweak lessons as the week progresses.

    In short, I think it should be the teacher's call. Nothing wrong with having a district policy on it, but one that forbids it is short sighted IMHO.
     
  7. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I can't think why this would even be an issue! I post my plans on the my web page every week. They are also emailed to parents with the disclaimer that plans may change based on how the week progresses. I want the parents of my students to know what to expect so that they can provide assistance and encouragement to their child.

    As to posted lesson plans making teachers redundant, if that were the case, I guess that books would have made us obsolete long ago!
     
  8. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    I post my assignments, due dates, etc. on my website. I don't post my daily plans. If some piece of information is lacking, the kid or the parent generally emails me. This happens once or twice a day.
     
  9. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    We all are required to post our lesson plans online our class websites. I like this... everyone knows what is going on, and parents can have a handle on whats in the classroom.

    Why on earth would anyone need to hide that? Sure, sometimes I'm off schedule and in that case, I post a notice about it on the site itself. But I have nothing to hide, and they're certainly not internal documents here.
     
  10. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    I consider making my lesson plans comprehensible to anyone but me a waste of my time.
     
  11. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Mar 7, 2012

    We have been specifically told that such plans aren't permitted, and that we need plans that a sub could at least attempt to follow if left the appropriate materials. That said, my lesson plans still aren't tremendously long or detailed. A class period's lesson might have this for a day:

    Topic: The Roman Republic
    Method: Lecture & Discussion (PowerPoint file: Rome2.ppt)
    Assignments Due: Reading & Vocabulary, Chapter 5-2
    Assignments Assigned: Reading & Vocabulary, Chapter 5-3
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Perhaps, instead of posting your lesson plans, you can create a weekly pacing guide that gives a brief summary of homework / assessments for each day. Monday, read background material on "The Raven"; Tuesday, read "The Raven"; Wednedsay, watch Simpsons video...

    You wouldn't be giving away all of your trade secrets, but your students and their parents would have a sense of where they should be in their work.
     
  13. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    Mar 7, 2012

    I post mine on my webpage each week. There's also a disclaimer that says plans are subject to change.
    We are warned every year that a parent can come in and look at our lesson plans without warrant or cause. It's part of our board policy.
     
  14. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I post what I am teaching, my notes, assignments, etc. But I don't actually post my lesson plan---even though you could easily figure out my lesson plan from the paragraph I type about what I am teaching, my notes, and assignments.
     
  15. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    I post what I call a "Six weeks at a glance". It gives parents a general idea of what we're studying and when quizzes and tests will be. It includes the names of some activities we'll be doing but no descriptions. It doesn't not include page numbers or every activity. Sometimes a day will just say "preterit practices" or "quiz review" followed by the material most likely to be on the quiz. I post this with a written disclaimer that these plans are susceptible to change in accordance to student need.

    Then as each week approaches, I put a more specific pacing plan on the whiteboard in the room. The students know exactly where to find it and it's more specific in the activities. Many students take a picture of it each Monday and like to stop and look at it as they enter the class. The only place where the specific page numbers show up is in the grade book once I've entered the grades. So in the board it might say "La ropa: buscando una ganga" telling the kids the topic and a specific title, but in the gradebook it will say TB Act 3, pg 104 which means textbook activity 3 on page 104.

    The reason I chose this method is because in the past I've had parents who tried to use the posted lesson plans as though it were an iron clad contract when their student didn't do as well as they wanted.
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I don't really see why the parents would be all that interested in the plans.

    We do make our learning targets available to parents. That's a whole lot simpler than lesson plans. Heck, I've been teaching for 19 years, and I still get confused by some of the "technicalities" of lesson plan formats sometimes. :p

    The targets are simpler with the "I can" statements so parents know what their child is expected to know how to do by the end of the unit.
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 7, 2012

    I share weekly, general plans (with specific learning objectives) but agree that detailed plans would provide some of our parents material for complaints.
     
  18. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I don't see why it would be a problem to make plans available to parents. I don't see the need though. I wouldn't because I don't have a website and my plans are handwritten.
     
  19. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    There are parents at my school that like to see the plans so they can do the homework for the students during the day. They have seriously complained to the adminstration about teacher that do not post assignments ahead of time because it limits when they can do the work for their kids. Openly admit it @@
     
  20. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oh my, NCScience! That's a little much.
     
  21. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    wow. that's pretty crazy, NCS. And then they wonder why their kids struggle on tests and state assessment...
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Crazy, right? We have had two parents request two copies of everything so they could complete the work first and then help the students...we had our doubts.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Parents have a copy of the content standards. My plans are simply that...plans. Plans change, I find times I have to rearrange things, reteach, supplement so my plans are pretty much good for Monday...I wouldn't want parents using copies of my plans as a checklist...:dizzy:
     
  24. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Parents don't see our plans. I guess if one *really* wanted to see them, I'd let them. The required format is a little, um, detailed. I doubt they'd want to sort through them again :lol:
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I would be happy to share my syllabus and have on occasion.

    But my plan book contains a topic and a homework assignment-- at this point I no longer write out real plans.
     
  26. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I don't know of any parents who want to look at actual lesson plans. I don't even really look at the ones we use. I primarily use the lesson plan that is in my head. If a parent wanted to see my actual lesson plan book, there would be very little information there for them, it is just a very basic guide for me. The more years I spend at my grade level the less information I need to put on there for myself.
     
  27. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Weird...I wouldn't email my plans to parents, but I wouldn't feel like I needed to say no if they wanted to see them, either. I suppose I'd think it was a strange request and would likely ask my principal first if I ever got such a request.

    I send home an overview each week that is very brief, but it lets the parents know what their kids will be learning about. It also includes which specialist they have each day, which days there are tests or special school events, and has a list of the spelling and vocabulary words for the week.

    I don't see why plans would ever be confidential, though? Are there parents who consistently make trouble for the teacher or administrators?
     
  28. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Perhaps it's not lesson plans that were being e-mailed, but rather curriculum. Every district I've ever worked in has said that curriculum is not to be posted on websites and it's on the district server, accessible only via log-in. I think it has something to do with the curriculum being copyrighted and people being able to pass the curriculum to other districts or use it to homeschool. IDK.
     
  29. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    I post my weekly plans on my website for parents and students to access. I make sure to note that they are TENTATIVE plans.

    Mostly I use it so that if students are absent, they know what they missed in class so when they come to me the next day and ask, I can tell them to go look on my website. Also, it's good for those students that don't use a planner and "forget" what we did in class. They or their parents can easily find that info out without emailing me!
     

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