planning time

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by lindalou, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. lindalou

    lindalou Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2004

    I'm always wanting to know what goes on in other schools...The hot topic in our district is planning time. It seems the high school and middle school have gone to block schedule, and each teacher only teaches 3 blocks/day and 1 block is their prep time. The elementary teachers, of course, don't have nearly that much prep time and we had some cuts this year and we have even less. We've heard of some schools having a half day per week for planning time built right into the schedule. Any other ideas? How are other districts handling this (I assume) universal problem. Thanks!
     
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  3. frijola

    frijola Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2004

    planning time is under constant discussion at my school. this year they decided that we have to go to library with our kids, even though in our contract it says that's planning time (45 minutes every other week). so i take my plan book and plan while the librarian tells a story (that's pretty much all he does for library--forget skills). the specials teachers get at least twice as much planning time as classroom teachers, and our counselor, who has the most planning time of all, comes to classes late and leaves early (when she remembers to show up). i try not to think about it, because even though it shouldn't, it does bother me. classroom teachers average 3 hours of planning time a week.
     
  4. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 6, 2004

    We're very fortunate. Two years ago they upped our specials time to 50 minutes. My time is 12:20 to 1:10 every day. Before that our planning time was 30 minutes. I wish it was a different time, but I'm not complaining. I'm just happy we have it!
     
  5. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Oct 6, 2004

    the same thing happens in our school.....the older grades have certian specials more often than the younger grades do....so those teachers have more prep time. Its not fair....but I the older grades seem to get a priority in my school...it bugs me, but i guess thats just the way it goes....
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 6, 2004

    Are all your schools on the same contract? In my district the middle and elementary are on the same contract so we have a certain number of prep minutes per week. It may divide up differently per day depending on grade level and what specials you have each day, but the weekly total of prep minutes remains the same for both schools.
     
  7. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Oct 7, 2004

    we are allllll on the same contract, but for older students, forigen langague is a main subject...so they have it more...giving the class room teacher more preps!
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 7, 2004

    I have an average of 1 hour 20 minutes plan per day plus a 30 minute duty-free lunch 4 days a week. You'll think I'm crazy not to appreciate this but I actually would like to be able to give up some plan time in order to have more classroom time with my kids. They have too many specials.
     
  9. camcdade

    camcdade Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2004

    My district guarantees a 45 minute planning period for every teacher - all levels. It never seems like enough, but then again, I wouldn't want to take any more time away from classroom instruction. It seems like there's never enough time to teach them what they need to know either!
     
  10. lindalou

    lindalou Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2004

    Thanks for all your replys! Is your 45 minute planning period uninterrupted during the day? Our busses roll out at 2:50 and we can't leave until 3:30, so that is 40 minutes that I assume counts for planning time. I'm thinking we don't have it so bad at our school. It's just that it is never enough! And I think this is a great forum to see what is happening in other districts. Thanks to all!
     
  11. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Oct 10, 2004

    I am in a catholic school and get 4 prep periods that are 45 minutes long. Lunch is duty free and is 45 minutes as well. We go to computers once a week but that is not considered a prep b/c we teach the class and the tech guy is there is assist us. Since we are getting ready for our Middle States evaluation we have 2 half days a month which take away some of our preps and takes away the kids special that day.
     
  12. camcdade

    camcdade Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2004

    Yes - it is an uninterrupted planning period during the school day while our students are at Music/PE. Our contract also says the teacher's school day is over at 3:45. So from the time students leave at 3:00 to 3:45 could also be considered planning time in addition to our 45 minute conference time.
     
  13. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Oct 10, 2004

    In the middle school, we were supposed to get a full period of Prep time daily but it seldom happened for various reasons. That, and 24 minutes for lunch, was all the time we got. We all had seven full periods daily. Downstairs in the elementary, on the other hand (and I realize this isn't typical) those teachers got prep time every time their classes went to a special; plus, they got a full hour for lunch. Before lunch, they had milk break and a recess. After they ate, they finished out the hour with another recess. After lunch, they had a snack and still another recess. They took turns on duty with these recesses, which made for even Prep time. We figured it up; the elementary teachers got four times, or more, Prep time than the secondary teachers in the same building. Don't hit me, anyone, I'm just telling you how it was in my old school. Let's just say, there was a tad bit of bad feeling sometimes. . . .

    This was being passed back and forth on the internet for a while, so here it is again, only this time, it's been adapted for Middle School teachers! It explains where our Prep went, and also where a lot of our sanity went. (just kidding) (a little bit)

    +*+*+*+*+*

    The Next Survivor Show Setting

    Have you heard about the next planned Survivor show? Three businessmen and three businesswomen will be dropped in a public middle school classroom for 6 weeks.

    Each business person will be provided with a copy of their school district’s curriculum, and 7 classes of 36 students each, with some fluctuation as students move in and out.

    Each individual class will have 6 learning-disabled children, five with A.D.D., two gifted children, two who speak limited English, and one who speaks no English at all.

    Three in each class will be labeled as severe behavior problems. Two are pregnant. Twenty-one have divorced parents; of these, eleven are in the middle of custody battles. Five are on juvenile probation. Three are living in foster homes.

    Each business person must complete lesson plans at least a week in advance, with annotations for curriculum objectives and modifications, and organize, create, or purchase materials accordingly.

    They will be required to teach, handle misconduct, implement technology, document attendance, write referrals, correct and record homework, grade and record exams, make bulletin boards, compute grades, complete report cards, document benchmarks, communicate with parents, notify certain parents daily of their child’s progress, and arrange parent conferences at the convenience of the parent.

    They must also supervise recess, monitor the hallways and lunchroom, sell and take tickets at athletic functions, sponsor extra-curricular activities, and chaperone dances. These activities are of course performed without payment; and the teacher is responsible for anything that goes wrong, including student misconduct at these functions. The business people must also be prepared to answer parents’ questions about their child’s school work, at these functions.

    In addition, they will complete a set number of drills for fire, tornadoes, earthquakes, intruders, and shooting attacks.

    They must attend workshops (100 hours), faculty meetings, union meetings, textbook adoption meetings, IEP conferences, evaluation meetings, curriculum development meetings, and any other meeting called by a supervisor or parent. Any plans or appointments previously scheduled must be cancelled, including doctor and dentist appointments for the teacher or for his/her spouse/children.

    They are required to counsel and advise parents and students over the telephone, after school hours, at their homes. Therefore they must memorize each student’s grade average and daily attitude and any problems, in preparation for those calls. An unlisted number will not help you; the parents will obtain it and they will use it.

    They must provide special, free tutoring for those students who are behind, and strive to get their non-English speaking children proficient enough to take the ISTEP test. Remember, the students’ scores reflect the teachers’ skill, and the teacher will be reprimanded accordingly.

    If the teacher is sick, has a sick family member, or is just having a bad day, they must not let it show. God forbid if you get pregnant.

    Each day, they must incorporate reading, writing, math, science, health, and social studies into the program. They must maintain discipline and provide an educationally stimulating environment at all times. Remember, any boredom on the part of any child during the course of your class, is the teacher’s fault and may be used as an excuse for failure by the child’s parents.

    Any failure on the part of a student, is the teacher’s fault.

    The business people will only have access to the golf course on the weekends, but on their new salary they will not be able to afford it anyway. There will be no access to vendors who want to take them out to lunch. They won’t be leaving the building for lunch anyway, since lunch will be limited to 24 minutes daily, on the days they don’t have lunch duty. On those duty days, lunch will be eaten while supervising the lunchroom. Lunch is at ten thirty, so by two p.m. the children will be hungry again. The business people will be hungry also, but hunger isn’t measurable by any kind of state statistics so the standards must be taught regardless of the growling stomachs. It would be easy to schedule the students’ lunch at noon but that would mean paying the cooks for an extra hour.

    You will get a thirty minute prep period on many days, but don’t count on getting your papers graded or xeroxed then, since this is the time many parent or principal conferences are scheduled. Substitutes are getting harder to find, so probably you will be dropped down into an absent teacher’s classroom during your prep period, unless a parent asks for you. You should plan to arrive at school before 7:30, since parents sometimes like to drop by for unannounced conferences before they go to work. Don’t count on getting home before 5:30, either, since after school is the time many more meetings are scheduled. Spur of the moment is a favorite time for parents to talk to their child’s teacher. Besides, after school is the time you will have to do your xeroxing, since your actual break is taken up with other people’s business on most days. This can be done, of course, only on those days that the copier is operable.

    After you get home, the business people should not plan on watching much tv or spending a lot of quality time with spouse or children, since they will have from two to four hours of grading and preparation each night. If you teach English, triple that. Not to even mention the phone calls from parents. . . .

    On the days when they do not have recess duty, the business people will be permitted to use the staff restroom as long as another survival candidate is supervising their class. It doesn’t matter if the teacher is sick or not. The size of your bladder makes no difference. No bathroom trips except one possibly very short trip, on those non-duty days.. The business people must never get diarrhea. It just doesn’t fit into the schedule. Teachers must also purchase kleenex, anti-bacterial hand wash, bandaids, sanitary napkins, safety pins, hair elastics, nail files, pencils, pens, and paper for the use of their students. They must also buy a thermometer, and know how to read it correctly. All of this is, of course, done with the teacher’s own money.

    The business people must continually advance their education on their own time and pay for this advanced training themselves. This can be accomplished by moonlighting at a second job, which most real teachers actually do, or by marrying someone with money. The winner will be allowed to return to his or her job.

    Pass this along to your friends who think teaching is easy, and also to the ones that know it is hard. They will both benefit.
     
  14. jggreenfield

    jggreenfield Companion

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    Oct 11, 2004

    at my old school, we floated through a six day schedule, which made our non-duty period rotate through the day. The good part about that was your free/prep period of 45 minutes some times was in the beginning of the day, sometimes at the end, and some times right against lunch, which was always the nicest!
    Now we have about 45 minutes everyday, my prep period is the same time, everyday. You get set in your ways easy, but more is always better than less!
    Jeff
     
  15. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

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    Oct 13, 2004

    I used to have 25 minutes a day, which was obviously awful.

    In my new school, I get (theoretically) 1.5 hours a day. We also dismiss an hour early every Wednesday, so that's a total of 8 hours per week. We are paid to stay at school only 15 minutes after the kids leave and arrive at the same time as them (again, theoretically) so I guess all the prep time is to compensate for that. Kids are in school for 6.5 hours and we work 7 hours.

    My understanding is that not all schools in my district have this much prep time at the elem level- we are a magnet school and that's why we get 1.5. Everyone else just gets .5.

    We have lots of meetings, of course, but I really can't complain because this is equal to or better than the amount of prep time for any other teacher I have ever heard of. Like Upsadaisy, I, too, sometimes wish I had more time to teach- I only get my kids for 4.5 hours. And we don't get recess, and that's hard on the kids. So, as always, it's a trade-off. :)

    The big problem is that when specialists don't come to work, there are no subs for them, so at least once a week I do not get my prep time at all. :mad:
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 14, 2004

    It really kills me that I get my kids for only 2 and a quarter hours three days a week, and 3 hours the other two days. Isn't that awful? They leave for science four days a week with another teacher. But still. It's nuts.
     

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